Qatar Chamber, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), recently hosted an introductory seminar on the Ministry’s initiative titled ‘Third party: pre-shipment food inspection on food dispatches’.
The meeting was attended by QC Board Member and Chair of the Food Security & Environment Committee Mohamed bin Ahmed Al-Obaidly, Director of Research and Studies Nora Al-Owlan and Director of Food Safety and Environmental Health Division at the Ministry of Public Health Wassan Abdulla Al-Baker.
This optional initiative aims to issue the required verification certificates for imported food products by a third party in the country of origin before they are shipped for export with the aim to ensure food safety in modern ways. It also aims to ensure the smooth flow of products through matching them in the country of origin and easing control procedures at entry ports.
For her part, Director of Food Safety and Environmental Health at the Ministry of Public Health Wassan Abdulla Al-Baker stressed the Ministry recognizes that effective and efficient inspection and certification systems are fundamental components of the trade in food, affirming the importance of balancing the highest possible level of food safety and facilitating trade.
Al-Baker expressed her thanks to the Qatar Chamber for holding the seminar and informing the private sector and traders on the initiative before approval, as well as its requirements and proposed application mechanisms.
During the meeting, the Food Safety and Environmental Health Division gave a detailed explanation of the mechanism for implementing the program, whereby third-party companies or the authorized body by the competent authority will issue certificates of conformity for imported food products from laboratories or competent authorities in the exporting country.
It said that this initiative is optional for private sector companies and aims at enhancing the public-private partnership and keeping pace with recent global trends in food control.
It also touched on the requirements for the third-party accreditation, which include that the applicant must be a licensed entity in Qatar and engage in legal activity and must have an international certificate of accreditation in the food inspection.
Requirements also include that it must have appropriate technical and human capabilities, report on its activities to the Ministry, and inform it of any violations monitored in relation to food dispatches.