Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems
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EU-Pacific Regional Workshop on Electronic Certification of Seafood Exports

International trading of goods and services is being made easier through advances in using information technology (IT). This technology includes electronic certification of seafood products around the globe, which has been used by the European Union (EU) since 2007. The online system, called Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES), is a mandatory requirement for all EU importers and exporters, while it’s voluntary for EU trading partners.

To support trade in seafood products between EU members and the Pacific region, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is working on introducing this system in the Pacific in collaboration with the EU Directorate-General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO). This work has included the organisation of a regional training workshop held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, from 9 to 11 October 2012. The workshop attracted 25 participants from government agencies (Competent Authorities) and private sector operators involved in fisheries from Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands, Fiji, Kiribati and Vanuatu. The workshop was coordinated and funded by SPC, with contributions from the Australian aid program-funded Fisheries for Food Security Program (Post Harvest & Exports), EU DG SANCO and the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). The PNG National Fisheries Authority was the hosting agency.

EU TRACES has many benefits, for example, it:

  • expedites administration procedures in preparation and approval of consignments via an online interface;
  • helps Competent Authorities make decisions on approval / rejection of exports;
  • pre-notifies the EU Competent Authority, which speeds up formalities at EU borders;
  • allows real-time monitoring of consignments from port of export to final destination;
  • incorporates the nomenclature codes used by World Customs Organisations and enables interaction with other systems around the world;
  • provides the latest consolidated version of the Health Certificate in the EU’s 22 official languages.

Traces also ensures:

  • high security, speed of data transmission and direct access to EU decision-making;
  • effective managements of rapid alerts;
  • efficient retrieval of export data for use in Competent Authority management decisions and planning.

All information pertaining to this electronic certification is managed, monitored and kept confidential at the European Commission’s data centre in Luxembourg. TRACES is free to use and, because it is a web-based system, users only need basic computer facilities with internet access.

SPC will continue to work in collaboration with EU DG SANCO to assist Pacific Island countries and territories in implementing this system to facilitate their trade with EU.

Peter Manrai (PNG), Hotee Faryaz (Trainer), Elain Kamkilakai (PNG),
Christina Mamupio (Solomon Island), Yaneba Alfred (PNG).


For more information, please contact:
Timothy Niumilengi, Fisheries Development Officer (Post Harvest and Exports)

Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 10:13