Friday, 13 January 2017

Stakeholders seek improved pre-shipment inspection of agro exports

Stakeholders in the agricultural sector have urged the Federal Government to support pre-shipment inspection agencies to reduce rejection of the nation’s agro exports.
The list of goods subject to inspections and quality testing is extensive, including food and agricultural products.

They said providing an enabling environment for pre-shipment inspections is one of the corrective measures which need to be taken for compliance as their  activities  take place, prior to shipment to  export destination. Pre-shipment inspections are allowable under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as long as the requirements in the WTO Agreement on Pre-shipment Inspections are met – non-discrimination, transparency and review and appeals processes.


Cocoa Association of Nigeria President, Mr. Sayina Riman, said such inspections  would ensure that the quality and safety of produce are in line with the domestic regulations of the importing country.

He said  non-payment of of  pre-shipment inspection agencies  would affect  the growth of agro exports. He noted that the agencies have, since inception, demonstrated commitment and introduced sanity into non-oil export documentation in Nigeria. The Nigerian Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) has also contributed significantly to the nation’s earnings.

Riman said a labourer deserved his wages. He called on the Minister of Finance to pay the agencies without further delay. “What we are seeing is not right. A labourer deserves his wages. The minister should pay these companies to forestall crisis in the non-oil sector, Riman. said.

A Cocoa Consultant and Chief Executive of the Centre for Cocoa Development Initiatives, Mr. Robo Adhuze noted that an important aspect about agro produce to be exported is compulsory quality control and pre-shipment inspection.

To this end, countries revert to pre-shipment inspections to guard their consumers and domestic producers against rejection at export destination due to capacity constraints relating to domestic standards and standard authorities and the lack of implementation of internationally accepted standards in the agric sector.

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