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Green Light for the Harmonisation of Plant, Animal and Human Health Protection Measures in the EAC

Tanzania ratifies the East Africa Community (EAC) Sanitary and Phytosanitary Protocol (SPS)

The East Africa Community (EAC) Sanitary and Phytosanitary Protocol, approved by the Council of Ministers in 2013, was ratified by the United Republic of Tanzania on 8th September 2021. This clears the way for the EAC-wide harmonisation of measures for human, plant and animal health.  The  SPS Protocol seeks to establish  common EAC procedures and certification schemes in the regulation of the import and export of food and food products; plants and plant protection agents; and animals and animal protection products, thereby  enhancing food safety, animal health and plant health in the region.

The SPS Protocol is an important milestone for MARKUP. Its implementation will go a long way in complementing efforts to harmonise standards and SPS measures with the overall objective of assuring importers that products from East Africa conform to common regulatory standards.  Importantly, the Protocol paves the way for an SPS committee to be set up under the EAC Department of Productive Services to coordinate the harmonisation of measures such as pesticide registration systems. This will enable regulators to effectively monitor the use of pesticides in the region and is expected to improve overall compliance with limits of pesticide residues in food.

Read more in the Guardian