What is the Competent Authority?
- Provide regulatory framework that ensures adequate industry compliance for safe fish production, import and export.
- Conduct inspections of fish business operators, landing sites and fishing vessel and issues health certification.
- Assess and recommend laboratories for product testing and provide up-to-date import and export market information.
- Work with relevant government stake holders with similar interest through administrative arrangements in a collaborative approach on food safety related matters nationally and globally.
- Pursue equivalent standards for fish production in RMI with the intent to trade safe fish products in the domestic and the international market.
Legislation and policy documents underpinning the work of the RMI Competent Authority (Fish) under Title 51 of the Marshall Islands Revised Code are:
1. Fish Processing and Export Regulation 2020
2. RMI Industry Standards for Fish Production and Export
3. The RMI National Control Plan
Why the need for the Competent Authority in RMI?
RMI is one of the largest transshipment ports in the world, moving over 600,000 tons of tuna to fish canneries around the world, averaging over 37 transshipments in a month as shown in 2018 and 2019 figures alone (Source: MIMRA Data). Landing a percentage of this fish and containerized for export will produce an immediate effect in terms of employment and transport logistics. In order to take advantage of this opportunity and become an authorized country from the sanitary point of view and to allow for landing and export to the European Union and to eligible countries for further processing and exports, RMI must be recognized as an authorized country by the European Union. The implication for a country that does not have a Competent Authority: fish landed and exported does not qualify for the EU Market and the country loses out on great market opportunities, incentives, diversification and a tax-free status given to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.