Solomon Islands tuna bound for EU markets marked a milestone moment this month.
As of 1stJuly 2015, the EU has formally registered the Solomon Islands as an official TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) participant. This status allows the Health Competent Authority and Industry to have access to the EU electronic certification systems. TRACES is a trans-European network for veterinary health which notifies, certifies and monitors imports, exports and trade in animals and animal products. Economic operators (private sector) and competent authorities all over the world can use this web-based network to trace back and forth animal and animal product movement.
Staff members of the National Food Safety Unit of the Ministry of Health recently undertook training in the TRACES system in Honiara, followed by training of Soltuna staff at Noro in late June. FFA’s Trade Development Advisor Ratu Jope Tamani and Laite Savuro from the Fiji Health Competent Authority led the training. Australia’s Government PHARMA project and the FFA/SPC EU DEVFISH II project provided funding support.
In a launching ceremony at the Soltuna processing facility at Noro, the Solomon Islands Competent Authority team leader Ethel Mapulo noted the Solomon Islands registration as official TRACES participant by the EU “has taken some time to happen, but it’s a significant step for us. As participants, the Solomon Islands National Food Unit and our domestic tuna industry can now electronically document all fish exports to the EU and have the ability to monitor fish export consignments as they enter and progress through EU Border Inspection Posts and onto processing facilities in the EU. ”
Mapulo expressed gratitude to PHARMA and FFA for providing funds for the training and to support the services of the Fiji trainer who also supported training of National Food Unit and industry staff in the practical use of the new system which is now successfully up and running. Soltuna Managing Director Adrian Wickham and General Manager Jim Alexander represented Soltuna at the launch.