In collaboration with Ministry of Environment & Water(MOE) and Dubai Municipality(DM), Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has organized the second training workshop on the implementation of GCC Guide developed to enhance the controlling mechanism on imported food.
The workshop which held at Novotel Al-Bustan Hotel in Abu Dhabi was attended by around 60 representatives from all GCC countries and all UAE municipalities.
Various activities took place during the workshop including expert presentations, case studies, training sessions and practical field training at Jebal Ali and Khalifa Ports.
On this occasion, Executive Director of Policy & Regulation Sector at ADFCA Dr. Mariam Hareb Al-Yousuf, said that the workshop aimed at strengthening mutual cooperation between GCC countries in order to unify food control measures on imported foods as well as to share knowledge and expertise in the area.
Dr. Al-Yousuf pointed that the decision to establish such a guide and its procedures of implementation was taken by a ministerial committee that held in December last year as a compliment to the various elements of cooperation between GCC countries.
Her Excellency Dr. Al-Yousuf said: "The guide which is aiming at the safety and suitability of food imported to the GCC and that includes a set of mandatory principles and requirements for food exporting countries is set to be implemented from June 2015"
Dr. Hareb explained that the guide which is based on a risk based system and principles is considered to be a suitable and balanced tool to unify imported food control procedures within GCC countries and to facilitate food trade without any unnecessary barriers in consistence with requirements of TBT agreement.
'Additionally, the guide declares several control activities for the imported food consignments such as verification of accompanied documents and certificates taking into consideration of mutual agreements and recognitions' she continued.
Dr. Al-Yousuf pointed that implementation of this guide will achieve several objectives; mainly the enhancement of the food safety through a risk analysis system that complies with current circumstances in GCC countries and with the prevailing internationally accepted systems.
She said the implementation will maximize the benefits by utilizing the opportunities and driving the resources in tune with the set priorities that underscore increase in the consumer confidence.
'The international trade will witness unprecedented ease as the guide ensures unified procedures in sample collection, inspection, tracing of unsafe product and product recall programs, she added.