Project Title

Workshop on Trade Facilitation through the Recognition of Food Safety Systems Equivalence 

Project Year

2017   

Project Number

CTI 26 2017 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

CTI 26 2017 

Project Title

Workshop on Trade Facilitation through the Recognition of Food Safety Systems Equivalence 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

General Project Account 

Sub-fund

None 

Project Year

2017 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

82,000 

Co-funding Amount

20,000 

Total Project Value

102,000 

Sponsoring Forum

Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) 

Topics

Conformance; Standards 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Peru 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Chile; New Zealand; Philippines; Thailand 

Expected Start Date

01/12/2017 

Expected Completion Date

30/12/2018 

Project Proponent Name 1

Marcelo Valverde 

Job Title 1

Trade Officer 

Organization 1

Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism 

Postal Address 1

050 Uno Oeste, Corpac, San Isidro, Lima, Peru 

Telephone 1

51-1 5136100 Extension 1236 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

mvalverde@mincetur.gob.pe 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Marcelo Valverde 

Project Summary

Currently, the recognition of the equivalence among food systems in most of the APEC region is based on a measure-by-measure approach. This situation burdens to food trade because of the lengthy process to get the recognition of the equivalence for a wide range of measures.

In that regard, consistent with Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) operating principles to develop a more robust approach in order to strengthen food safety standards and practices in the region and seeking to collaborate with the APEC Food Security Roadmap Towards 2020, it is proposed a 2 day-workshop on food safety systems equivalence in the first semester of 2018.

The workshop’s objective is to share best practices and policy recommendations among APEC regarding recognition of the food safety systems equivalence approach. This activity will improve food safety and trade. The outcome of this workshop will be a report that will provide valuable policy recommendations to APEC members and ideas for possible future work.

Relevance

Food safety has become a major concern among APEC economies, as they need to be sure that imported products comply with high standards. Moreover, some economies have extended their regulatory approach to other economies regarding their legitimate objective to protect public health.

Considering this situation, some exporter economies have tried to achieve the recognition of the equivalence of its measures, in accordance with current international standards and recommendations, as they comply with the same food safety objective of the measures from the importer economy. The WTO and Codex documents which currently address food safety equivalence are G/SPS/19/Rev.2, CAC/GL 26, 24, 53, 82 and 89. However, the determination of equivalence usually has a measure-by-measure approach. With this approach, the measures applied in the exporting economy, which may be different from the measures of the importing economy, guarantee the importing economy’s appropriate level of sanitary protection.. The extent of the equivalence in this approach is only to specific sanitary measures or set of measures relevant to a food product or group of food products, not the entire food safety system.

In that sense, if any economy changes its measure, the equivalence needs to be reassessed. This could restart the entire process of the recognition of equivalence. In addition, economies implement imports assurance programmes based on questionnaires; audits to the export economy enterprises; and products inspections that do not necessarily enhance and insure product safety.

Considering that economies may have a well-developed National Food Control Systems (NFCS), in accordance with the key principles and core elements described in Codex document CAC/GL 82-2013, the complexity of requirements and approval processes could generate duplication of controls.In this scenario, the duplication creates unnecessary burdens to trade among economies.

On the other hand, having a food safety system equivalence approach incorporates wider elements of analysis of the recognized food safety systems, such as its objectives, design, monitoring, updating and others. It also serves to have a better data compilation, as well as science-based risk assessment tools. It is important to note that some APEC economies have already designed and implemented policies and practices to recognize as equivalent other food safety systems, such as United States, Australia and New Zealand.

In this regard, this project suggests to exchange experiences on food safety systems among government representatives, researchers and private sector in order to increase knowledge and usefulness of the food safety system equivalence approach in APEC region and look for ways of collaboration with an improvement of the current approach of recognition of equivalence.

This project directly falls under the funding criteria Rank 1: Food security, including food production, processing, supply chain and trade and safety, sustainable and climate resilient agriculture and fisheries, sustainability of these activities and rural development, innovative rural areas, technical cooperation and new technologies, as well as implementation of the Food Security Roadmap Towards 2020, the Food Security Business Plan, and the Piura Declaration on APEC Food Security.  It also falls under the same rank in terms of standards, conformity assessment, technical regulations, regulatory cooperation, and regulatory coherence.

Objectives

1)   To generate exchange of views, increase knowledge and discuss the two approaches of determination of equivalence: a) measure-by-measure approach and b) food safety system equivalence approach among APEC economies.

2)  To identify costs, benefits, strategies, challenges and best practices from APEC economies that have already designed and implemented policies and practices to recognize as equivalent other food safety systems.

3)  To elaborate a set of recommendations for cooperation among APEC economies for the development and implementation of food safety system equivalence approach.

Alignment

First, this project responds directly to one of the four Vietnam’s year priorities: Deepening Regional Economic Integration, since the recognition of the food safety systems equivalence approach would enhance and facilitate trade among APEC region. 

Second, this project is in line with 2016 APEC Leaders declaration: “APEC work to increase economic integration will contribute to increased safe food availability through international trade with science-based regulations and WTO-recognized international food-related standards.” This project builds on the ongoing work at the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Certification and Inspection (CCFICS) for a future international standard with the food safety systems equivalence approach. 

Third, this workshop responds to the direction set by the 2016 AMM Joint Statement and the Piura Declaration on APEC Food Security: “We highlight that strengthening effective, science-based and transparent food regulatory systems is crucial to food trade facilitation. Recognizing that approaches and requirements to food safety may differ between economies or areas within them, we remain committed to seek and develop common ground for promoting strong science-based food safety systems that meet the legitimate objectives of protecting human, animal and plant life or health, whilst their application is as least trade restrictive as possible, consistent with WTO rights and obligations under agreements such as the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures.” Implementing the recognition of the food safety systems equivalence approach would eventually incorporate better elements of analysis of the recognized food safety systems in order to guarantee public health, while it promotes food trade in APEC region.

TILF/ASF Justification

Although this project’s fund is the General Project Account, it also contributes to APEC trade and investment liberalization and facilitation established in Part 1, Section C Point 5 of the Osaka Action Agenda regarding to Standards and Conformance Objective and Good Regulatory Practice, specifically in aspects of the SPS Agreement, since the project promotes cooperation among APEC economies in order to facilitate trade and potential future recognition agreements among member economies.

The proposed project will become a fundamental platform not only for developing economies but also for developed APEC members, in terms of providing a better understanding of similarities, differences and needs for the eventually implementation of the food safety system equivalence approach in accordance with international standards. Recognizing only specific measures demands the development of questionnaires; audits to the export economy enterprises; and products inspections that do not necessarily enhance and guarantee product safety.

There will be sessions throughout the workshop focused on sharing experiences of the implementation of successful recognition of food safety systems equivalence and on recommendations to continue working on this topic in APEC.

These sessions will be particularly relevant to APEC economies are not applying food safety systems equivalence approach yet and continue with the measure-by-measure approach.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs:

1)
2-day Workshop: The workshop will encourage the exchange of views, increase knowledge and discuss the two approaches of determination of equivalence: a) measure-by-measure approach and b) food safety system equivalence approach among food safety experts, policy-makers, trade officers, and other APEC trade and food safety stakeholders; .It will also encourage to discuss the key factors to be considered for effectively preparing and implementing the eventual recognition of the food safety systems equivalence approach.

2)  Report: The report will contain recommendations derived from the workshop. It will serve as a tool for economies to develop their own plans to implement the food safety systems equivalence approach; enabling APEC economies to develop tailor-made policies, ad-hoc measures or other institutional mechanisms in accordance with their own needs and priorities.

The following topics will be dealt in the workshop:

a)  International standards related to recognition of equivalence (e.g., importance and results from Codex standards related to recognition of equivalence and the current work done at Codex in terms of recognition of food safety systems equivalence).

b)  Preparing for the recognition process (e.g., establishing team(s) and assigning roles and responsibilities among government agencies; establishing a process for recognition of systems, including food safety and management issues);

c)  Implementing the recognition of equivalence: Key issues (e.g., coordination among government agencies for the implementation; process in case of any sanitary alert, among others).

Evaluation: At the end of the workshop, a survey will be distributed to workshop participants to obtain feedback and to analyse possible future activities that would enhance the eventual recognition of the food safety systems equivalence approach among APEC economies.

Outcomes:  It is important to note that some APEC economies have already designed and implemented policies and practices to recognize as equivalent other food safety systems, such as United States, Australia and New Zealand. Also, at Codex Alimentarius, some APEC economies are part of the currently discussion for an international standard on the food safety systems equivalence approach. In this respect, starting the discussion on the recognition of the food safety systems equivalence approach would help APEC economies to understand its possibilities to implement this kind of measure taking to account the level of development of their National Food Control Systems (NFCS).

To assist APEC economies on setting up their own mechanisms in order to assess early identifying potential recognition of equivalence opportunities by providing an overview of various policies and institutional mechanisms that some APEC economies have put in place to recognize the food safety equivalence.

Enhancing the capacities of APEC public officials involved in this issue, as well as in the implementation of recognition of equivalence will strengthened certain institutional frameworks in the medium term by enabling APEC economies to be better prepared for mapping-out potential recognition opportunities. 

Beneficiaries: The direct beneficiaries of the project are government officials from sanitary and phytosanitary authorities/ministries, researchers, academics, food safety experts and other stakeholders such as food industry representatives.

Participants should be high level officials in their own fields who can influence and be actively involved in the decision-making process regarding the recognition of food safety systems equivalence.

The benefits arising from this project involve directly all APEC economies, specially the developing economies as one of the main objectives to facilitate trade is to increase harmonization of food safety standards throughout the APEC region.

In the field of policy measures, public officers from APEC economies could use this capacity building workshop as a first step to obtain relevant information on the experiences developed by other APEC economies on the recognition of food safety systems.

Dissemination

The workshop´s report, presentations and related materials will be made available to members in electronic format for distribution to public officials from APEC, especially for the ones involved in the food safety issues related to trade. 

The materials will be sent to the APEC Secretariat for distribution through the APEC document database. The summary report will be published on the APEC website.

Gender

Food safety is a key work area for many developing economies because of its importance and direct linkage with food trade. Women have not been unfamiliar regarding food safety issues, as 50% of food production in the APEC region is carried out by women, according to FAO’s document on women's contributions to agricultural production and food security. The increase of women’s participation on food trade rises their income and benefits their family and community. 

Throughout the development of the project gender equality will be strongly promoted through the engagement of women in its different activities. The project will encourage women participation in attempt to respect gender equality regarding speakers and participants.  

The number of female participants in this project is one of the most important indicators to assess the impacts on women. This workshop will contribute to increase the capabilities of officials with no discrimination between genders. In that sense, it is expected to have at least 40% of female participants. Finally, it will be also promoted the invitation to female speakers that are directly involved in food safety issues.

Work Plan

The following activities are meant to achieve the Project objectives:

Activities

Timing

(1) Workshop organization: venues, tentative agenda and request to economies suggestions about keynote speakers

January - February 2018

(2) Invitation to speakers

February - March 2018

(3) Invitation to APEC members to participate

March - April 2018

(4) Hold a 2-day workshop in Lima, Peru

June 2018

(5) Final Report to APEC Secretariat

July 2018

(6) Brief report to SCSC 2

SCSC2 2018

Risks

Risk 1: Lack of confirmation of keynote speakers.

Risk management: A letter of invitation will be circulated in advance. Early identification of potential speakers should ensure quality presentations for this event.

The role of the PO will be particularly relevant to identify potential speakers with a significant expertise in the themes to be addressed in this workshop. PO will engage with experts from APEC economies specially from APEC FSCF in order to identify potential speakers and also to look for contributions to develop the agenda of the workshop. 

Risk 2: Lack of attendance due to the geographical distance between Lima and some APEC Economies.

Risk management: Given the geographical distance between the venue of the workshop and many APEC economies, it will be important that the POs notifies at the earliest time possible all the logistical arrangements for the development of the workshop. 

Risk 3: Participant do not have the expertise on the main topic of the workshop.

Risk management: The event general information document as well as the invitation to be circulated among SCSC and FSCF members will highlight the specific criteria to nominate participants to the workshop.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The preliminary agenda of the workshop will be circulated in advance to receive comments and suggestions from APEC economies. The main indicators of the success of the project are:

-  The number of APEC Economies engaged in the project.

At least 14

-  The number of participants that will attend the workshop.

At least 30

§  The number of female participants in this project is one of the most important indicators to assess the impacts on women. This workshop will contribute to increase the capabilities of officials with no discrimination between genders.

30% at at least

At the end of the workshop, a survey will be distributed to workshop participants to obtain feedback. These results will be very important to elaborate the final report and to assess  possible future events on similar issues. This will help to identify the main needs of the public officials in charge of or directly involved in the food safety issues related to trade.

The results of the survey and workshop will be analyzed by PO in order to elaborate the final report and spread the outcomes to SCSC and FSCF members, as well as other stakeholders and organizations of interest, such as WTO and Codex.

Linkages

Cross Fora collaboration will be promoted by involving groups that are currently working on trade facilitation through topics related to food safety as FSCF-SCSC and PPFS. International organizations, such as WTO and Codex Alimentarius, would also be involved in the implementation of this project.

This project builds on the following projects: Workshop on the Modernization of Food Safety Control Systems – CTI 07 2016T (held in Vietnam in 2017) and Workshop on Food Safety Systems - SCSC 05 2016S (held in Lima in 2016) In both projects, it is highlighted that the recognition of equivalence is one potential element to modernize food safety systems and it is desirable to improve health and food safety outcomes, as well as to facilitate trade. The Workshop on Trade Facilitation through the Recognition of Food Safety Systems Equivalence would complement the ongoing work as it enhances a deeper dialogue in the recognition of equivalence and will generate policy recommendations in order to advance in this topic in APEC region. This proposal does not duplicate the work of the Workshop on the Modernization of Food Safety Control Systems as this proposal will focus on the discussions in a specific field of food safety and the experiences that some APEC economies have, while the workshop on modernization had a broad scope and addressed different kind of food safety modernization measures, not only in the recognition of equivalence.

Additionally, it is highlighted that this project builds on the work done at the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Certification and Inspection (CCFICS).

Sustainability

Since the beneficiaries of the workshop will be public officials involved in food safety issues, as well as in trade topics, it is important that these officials share the recommendations of the workshop with other officials from their own economies. In this respect, it is highly recommended that APEC participants play a key role their National Food Control Systems, so they can lead in their respective economies a process of recognition of equivalence. 

Building on this capacity building workshop, future seminars and workshops can be undertaken in order to track the developments in recognition of the food safety systems equivalence approach. The goal of this workshop is to initiate a continuous dialogue among all the relevant actors involved in food safety and trade in the APEC region. 

It is important to track the outcomes of this workshop since it could constitute one of a series of capacity-building activities aiming at enhancing capacities of developing economies in the APEC region with respect to recognition of food safety systems equivalence. In terms of how the outcomes and impacts of the workshop will be measured, any future follow-up activities should address the recognition of equivalence process that APEC economies decided to design and implement as a result of the workshop and how this implementation impacted in food trade.

Project Overseers

Mr. Marcelo Valverde will manage the project. He is Coordinator of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures related to trade at the Directorate of Technical Requirements for Foreign Trade from Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR). Mr. Valverde is MINCETUR’s primary representative at the National Technical Commission of the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Certification and Inspection (CCFICS). He is also former primary representative at the National Technical Committee of Codex Alimentarius.

Project Executive:  The management of the project will be supported by work of one executive:

Ms. Daniela Huertas
Specialist of the APEC General Coordination
Vice Ministry of Foreign Trade
Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru
E-mail: dhuertas@mincetur.gob.pe

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
Attachments
Version: 3.0 
Created at 25/01/2018 14:23  by Lucy Phua 
Last modified at 31/01/2018 11:00  by Lucy Phua 
Version HistoryVersion History

Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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