Policy & Regulation Sector of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority has organized a workshop for food importers in order to enhance their awareness and knowledge regarding risk based system implemented at Abu Dhabi emirate borders for the control of imported food. The main target of the workshop was to explain and discuss the required amendments for regulation No.2 of 2008 (Risk based approach for the control of imported foods via borders of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi) for further updating.
Dr. Mariam Hareb, Executive Director of Policy & Regulation Sector of ADFCA opened the workshop by delivering a speech in which she stated: "ADFCA is keen to develop a sustainable agriculture and food sector that ensures the delivery of safe food to the public and that protects the health of animals and plants while promoting sound environmental and food practices through cohesive and effective policies and regulations, quality standards, research and awareness"
Furthermore, Dr. Mariam Hareb mentioned that the workshop reflects ADFCA's commitment towards the best global practices in maintaining mutual coordination with the concerned stakeholders.
Her Excellency, Dr. Hareb mentioned that ADFCA policies in governmental interventions and regulatory compliances are based on science and risk analysis principles.
Additionally, her Excellency emphasized on the importance of facilitating the commercial channels regarding trading of food, animals, producing foods and plants.
During the workshop, federal and regional policies and regulations regarding imported food on borders were reviewed and discussed.
Mr. Khaled Al-Marzouqi, Agriculture & Food Risk Analysis Section Manager, during his presentation, outlined ADFCA's agricultural and food safety policy frame work with an emphasis on the importance of listing the challenges faced by food importers at Abu Dhabi emirate borders and the suitable proposed solutions and improvements, assuring at the same time on enhancing channels of coordination in order to achieve safe and hygiene food and enforce food safety and quality of food items throughout the food chain elaborating in achieving the comprehensive vision of Abu-Dhabi government which aims to create a safe and confident community with an economic sustainability and the ability to compete.
Mr. Al-Marzouqi said, ADFCA's policy is built on seven basic pillars which are: scientific and risk-based government intervention, responsible food & feed business operators, seamless and coherent regulation, coherent & effective import system, consistent and equitable sector regulation, facilitated trade and coordinated service provision.
Other related issues and technical points presented and discussed were the Risk Based System related regulations, food categories, classifications, channeling, workflow of health clearance, compliance incentive scheme, Food Import Management Information System (FIMIS), application procedure, Traceability & Recall system, food sampling and information regarding other local, federal and regional regulations having direct connection with the ADFCA risk based control system.
An open session followed the presentations in which participants raised their questions, suggestions and opinions. A high level panel headed by Dr. Mariam heard customers' concerns and answered to their queries.
During the discussion with the participants, Dr. Mariam highlighted the importance of forming a focus group from food importers' side to share their ideas and comments on food import regulations.
At the end of the workshop, Her Excellency appreciated all participants for their fruitful contributions and affirmed the importance of continuous communications and consultations with private sector entities and establishments throughout drafting and updating regulations.