In late April, food safety regulators from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies and private industry groups met outside of Washington, D.C., to discuss export certification. This is a continuation of work that began in 2010. The goal of the two-day workshop was to explore how to use export certificates to improve efficiencies in the movement of
food between APEC members with the minimum requirements necessary to ensure the protection of consumers from potential health hazards.
Several regulators spoke about their own countries’ experiences certifying exports or monitoring imports with limited resources. Representatives from the California Wine Institute and the U.S. Meat Export Federation presented various schemes demonstrating how their industries have addressed food safety concerns through voluntary food safety programs and certification.
Regulators from the APEC economies present at the workshop agreed to review existing requirements to determine priorities using science-based evidence for risk assessments. In the future, they will work toward reducing the
need for certification, develop a model certificate, and explore ways to transmit them electronically.
California Almond exporters ship to over 90 countries around the world and face numerous certificate requirements for each individual market.