Regional Consultations on Draft Sanitary and Phytosanitary Bill ongoing in Nairobi, Kenya
East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 14 December 2016:
A regional consultative meeting to finalize draft EAC Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Bill is ongoing in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting, which was convened by the EAC Secretariat and the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, is being attended by Partner States’ experts in trade, agriculture, health, livestock, food security, standards, legal, regional integration, and other stake holders.
Presiding over the opening session, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in-charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, highlighted the growing importance of sanitary and phytosanitary measures and noted that SPS had become an important topic of debate in international trade as well as regional integration.
Hon. Bazivamo informed the participants that the fundamental importance of SPS matters is linked mainly to Agriculture and trade in agricultural products, which is the mainstay of the economies of EAC Partner States. The EAC official acknowledged that agricultural trade continues to represent a notable portion of intra-EAC total trade flows and that there was enormous potential to increase and urged the EAC Partner States to adequately address and enforce issues around SPS measures and standards.
Taking stock of the progress, Hon. Bazivamo commended the EAC Secretariat, Partner States and non-state actors for the progress made and milestones reached in 2016. He noted that following adoption of the SPS Protocol in 2013; a strong foundation for supporting implementation of the Protocol had been laid. This includes finalization of SPS measures and setting in motion the process of developing SPS Bill. The SPS Bill is expected to facilitate effective implementation and enforcement of the SPS Protocol in the entire Community.
Hon. Bazivamo commended USAID East Africa Office for their sustained efforts in supporting Regional Integration and USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub for supporting the EAC SPS agenda.
- ENDS -
Notes to Editor:
Article 108 (c) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community and Article 38 of the Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Community Customs Union underscores the need to harmonize sanitary and phytosanitary measures in order to facilitate trade within the community and other trading partners.
2016 has been a remarkable and eventful year in executing SPS related matters aligned to implementation of the EAC SPS Protocol. The approval of the food and feed safety, plant health and animal health SPS measures by the 34th meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers and development of the draft SPS Bill are significant achievements in the implementation of the EAC SPS Protocol.
The process of developing the SPS Bill has been participatory and consultative in order to elicit wider stakeholder engagement, ownership and internalization at the national and regional levels. A final version of the SPS Bill will be presented to the EAC policy and legal Organs for consideration.
Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures (SPS) is an agreement under the World Trade Organization (WTO) focusing on how governments can apply food safety, animal, fish and plant health measures and regulations.
The three major expected outcomes
- Safe Trade through protection of human, animal and plant health
- Post-harvest losses minimized and food security enhanced
- Income generation through increased value and volume of agricultural products traded.
- SPS Protocol Adopted in 2013 S
- PS Protocol ratified by the Republic of Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya
- SPS measures developed:- phytosanitary measures, food and feed safety measures, post-harvest handling measures for Aflatoxin control, sanitary Measures for mammals, birds , bees and their products and sanitary measures for fish and fishery products
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Mr Owora Richard Othieno
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About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
East African Community
EAC Close, Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
United Republic of Tanzania
Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac [at] eachq.org