The Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) says the fisheries agency will shortly begin issuing sanitary certificates to institutions or individuals importing and exporting fish and fish products through the airports, postal services and land borders in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) for parcel/consignment containing above 20% in volume and more than 5kg of fish product; following the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).
According to Hon. Emma Metieh Glassco, NaFAA and MOA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will ensure the conduct of quality assurance inspection of fish and fishery products and will include establishing the terms and conditions under which documentation is required for export of fish and fishery products through exit points mentioned above.
Hon. Glassco in a press release issued Thursday September 29, 2020, also stated that NaFAA shall among other things be responsible to control fish handling, storing, landing, transportation, processing and marketing of fish and fish products.
The NaFAA Boss further stated that, NaFAA shall inspect operational fishery enterprises for compliance with fish safety regulations within the Republic of Liberia.
Mrs. Glassco noted that NaFAA shall specify conditions for the placing on the market of fish, fish products and fish feed, monitor possession, import, export, transportation, selling, receiving, of fish and fishery products, test and issue sanitary certificate for all fish and fish products leaving Liberia.
During the signing of the MoU, Hon. Glassco stated that NaFAA will inspect all fish and fish products leaving and entering Liberia including cold storage facilities to ensure the quality of fish sold to the public or exported from Liberia.
The MoU further states that MOA shall have the responsibilities to regulate the export of plants and livestock products to conserve dwindling species and protect the food supplies of Liberia.
The MoU mentioned that where there are fish or fish products above 20% in volume and more than 5kg in a parcel, such consignment shall obtain a sanitary certificate and an export permit from NaFAA.
It also states that MOA shall inspect sanitary certificates issued by NaFAA only for parcel for export containing assorted items which includes both plant and fish products, and issued zoo-sanitary and phytosanitary certificates for all processed commodities except fish and fish products and assigned personnel at entry and exit points (airports, postal services and land borders) as deemed necessary to control the movement of all animal and animal products, plants and plant products including processed food and agrochemicals.
Both parties shall also ensure that where there are fish or fish products above 20% in volume and more than 5kg in a parcel, such consignment shall obtain a sanitary certificate and an export permit from NaFAA.
Meanwhile, Minister Jeanie M. Cooper signed for the Ministry of Agriculture.
In a related development, the signing of the NaFAA and MOA was followed by a one-day workshop on September 27, 2020 at the Mesurado Fishing Pier, Coast Guard Base.
The objective of the workshop was to provide training on the collection of economic data on fish trade relative to the import and export of sanitary requirements by NaFAA.
The training further provides key information on the collective roles and functions of the various institutions including NaFAA, Ministry of Agriculture, and National Public Health Institute of Liberia etc.