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Imported food control in Bhutan

National situation report – March 2019










FAO. 2020. Imported food control in Bhutan. National situation report  March 2019. Bangkok.

 




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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    National stakeholder consultation on strengthening national capacity for risk-based food import control within One Health framework in Sri Lanka
    Meeting summary report
    2018
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    The consultation meeting “Strengthening national capacity for risk-based food import control within a One Health Framework” was held on 30 November 2017 at Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka. The main objective of the consultation was to validate the information presented in the draft report entitled “National situation of imported food controls in Sri Lanka”, and to identify the priority actions to be considered while developing a roadmap for effective risk-based imported food control in the country. Thirty-two participants attended the consultation, including high-level officials from imported food control-relevant government agencies, stakeholder groups and resource people, provided input during the plenary and group discussions following the presentation of the national situation report. Group discussions were held on four focus areas: Sri Lanka Customs, Plant Quarantine, Animal Quarantine and Sri Lanka Standards Institution. Requirements identified by the Customs Department included improving the Customs database so that information can be shared with all of the relevant stakeholders, and establishing an alert system for high-risk foods. Plant and animal quarantine groups stated the need for upgrading laboratory capacities (both technical and human), strengthening pre-border requirements with required certificates, and providing guidance on the approval of certain commodities. Requirements required by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution included improving existing regulations and standards to address globally emerging food safety issues, conducting risk-based country profiling, setting up a unit for surveillance and import trade analysis, improving communication mechanisms by establishing information sharing systems among stakeholders on the results of the sample analysis and certification systems. In order to strengthen the existing imported food control system, immediate actions based on these requirements are recommended and include: 1) organizing training sessions on risk categorization for food safety competent authorities, quarantine officers and custom officials; and 2) ensuring the use of a risk categorization list, developing standard operating procedures for sampling and inspection at the borders and organizing training sessions on imported food inspection for relevant officials; and 4) developing a single-window, information-sharing system among relevant agencies and importers. A roadmap for effective risk-based imported food control in Sri Lanka has been drafted, and a consultation with relevant high-level stakeholder representatives to validate and agree on the roadmap is suggested as a next step.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Ensuring the safety of imported food: Current approaches for imported food control in Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka 2018
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    Food products have been the third most valuable commodity group traded internationally, and imports constitute a significant proportion of the food supplies of developing countries in particular. FAO Members have expressed the need for technical support and guidance to achieve effective national imported food control systems. In 2017, FAO collaborated with the Governments of Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka under the project entitled “Strengthening national capacity for risk-based food import control within a One Health framework” to support the countries in improving their existing systems of national imported food controls. National situation reports of the countries were developed to identify and document their systems’ current status with their strengths and any improvements needed. Findings of the national situation reports have indicated that there are common approaches and tools that can be used to address the needs in all four countries, despite the differences in their levels of development, human capacities and institutional structures. The present document has compiled all four national situation reports and summarized some approaches and tools that would be applicable to most developing countries in the world, including the: 1) use of risk categorization to prioritize commodity and hazard combinations to create a concise and easy reference for border control officials so that high-risk and high-interest food items will receive more attention than other food items; 2) nationwide dissemination and use of standard operating procedures for risk-based inspections for imported foods to maintain consistency and transparency; and 3) systematic written communication mechanism among food safety competent authorities and relevant border control officials on importer profiles, the abovementioned risk categorization results, and required documents to achieve effective risk-based management for imported foods.
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    Booklet
    Biosecurity situation assessment for livestock, plant and food areas in Bhutan
    Online meeting report
    2020
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    The Biosecurity Policy of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2010 recognizes the importance of an integrated approach to maintaining Bhutan’s biosecurity. Therefore, it identifies the need to develop a Biosecurity Strategy to guide the implementation of further activities to enhance biosecurity and food safety. While a significant amount of work to improve biosecurity has been undertaken since 2010, there is a clear and urgent need for the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) to develop a set of effective and prioritized, yet feasible, strategies and action plans to guide its activities over the next eight years. In order for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to assist BAFRA to develop a Biosecurity Strategy and Action Plan for the period 2021-2028, it is necessary to re-assess the current situation to understand the current capacity and practices, needs, gaps and opportunities. Following an internal survey of BAFRA officials in both head and field offices aimed at understanding their needs and priorities, FAO, together with a biosecurity expert, in collaboration with the BAFRA officers, conducted three video conference meetings for 1) livestock, 2) food and 3) plant sectors to understand the current situation in further detail so that a better strategy and relevant action plans can be proposed. This report sets out the key information obtained from the three virtual meetings, which used a mix of hypothetical and real scenarios to ask questions to the participants designed to obtain information about the current situation.

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