Food Safety Regulation of Exported Food Commodities

Food safety

Legal Informer: Food Safety Regulation of Exported Food Commodities

The Federal Government has been making efforts to improve the exportation process in Nigeria and the acceptance of Nigerian agro-products internationally. As published by New Telegraph on Tuesday, 16 May 2023, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control  (NAFDAC) and Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS) is partnering to streamline the processes required for getting produce certified due to the frequent rejection of Nigeria’s exported agro￾products in Europe and other parts of the world for food safety concerns, non￾adherence to best practices and disregard for basic export requirements by receiving countries. This will enormously aid exporters of agro-produce in Nigeria.

The extant NAFDAC Ports Inspection Directorate (PID) Guidelines for issuance of Export  Certification for NAFDAC Regulated products, provides that, applicants intending to export  regulated products must submit an application letter addressed to the Director-General of NAFDAC indicating full Name and address of manufacturer’s warehouse, list of product(s) intended for Export, quantity of each product, pack size of each product, batch number of each product, manufacturing
date and Expiry Date (as applicable), country of destination and consignee’s name and address. The guidelines provide for the necessary documents to be attached to the letter. Upon application, the warehouse is to be inspected before issuance of the relevant export certificate. 

The NAFDAC Food Safety & Applied Nutrition (FSAN) Directorate Guidelines for Inspection & Requirements for Food Storage Warehouse in Nigeria further provides for the requirements for food storage warehouse. By the provision of the guidelines, food storage warehouses should have adequate number of qualified personnel who should always maintain high level of hygiene. The warehouse is required to have both cold and dry storage area in the manner prescribed under the
guidelines. The guidelines also provides that the entire warehouse and storage equipment should be cleaned frequently and thoroughly in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedure (S.O.P) for cleaning, to avoid contamination risks of all kinds. Bulk food Product(s) should be handled and transported under conditions that prevent deterioration, contamination, spoilage, and breakage to ensure that the product safety and quality is maintained up to the time of use. Labelling should
be in accordance with the provisions of the extant NAFDAC Pre-packaged Food (Labeling) Regulations. Health Certificate for Exportation is also issued for processed and semi-processed food commodities under the NAFDAC Ports Inspection Directorate (PID) Directorate Guidelines for Issuance of Health Certificate for Exportation of Processed and Semi-processed Food Commodities
It is important to mention that issuance of export approval by NAFDAC does not guarantee admittance of the product into the country of destination. All products must comply with the requirements of the country of destination. This is why it is required that professional guidance is sort to ensure that all products comply with the requirements of each country of destination to avoid business loss.

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