Codex and Technical Barriers to Trade


About Codex

CODEX ALIMENTARIUS is about safe, good food for everyone- everywhere. The words CODEX ALIMENTARIUS derives from Latin meaning “FOOD CODE” is a collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practices adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Why use Codex?

The Codex system was set up because of widely perceived need to facilitate fair trade in food. Internationally accepted standards were therefore seen as the means. At the same time, it was realized that if standards were developed, then it must be based on added protection for consumers’ health.

The use of the Codex system results in Governments, food industries, non- governmental organizations, farmers and consumers working together to develop appropriate food standards and regulations. By adopting and implementing these standards, Samoa’s national interests are protected.

Samoa National Codex Committee (SNCC)

Samoa National Codex Committee was established by Cabinet on December 2002. Its main objective is to ensure that food produced, exported and imported to Samoa is safe and suitable for all domestic and international consumers through implementation of its terms of reference (TORs). Our Ministry is the codex contact point that act as the link between the SNCC and the Codex Alimentarius Commission and other codex member countries. It is responsible to coordinate and facilitate all relevant national codex activities and in making proposals and recommendations to the SNCC on all matters pertaining to the implementation of Food Standards.

SNCC Membership Composition

Currently the Samoa National Codex Committee has:

  • 9 members
    • Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (MCIL) : Chair
    • Ministry of Health (MOH): Member
    • Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries (MAF): Member
    • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE): Member
    • Samoa Water Authority (SWA): Member
    • Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters (SAME): Member
    • Samoa Chamber of Commerce (SCC): Member
    • Samoa Consumers Association (SCA): Member
    • Women in Business Development Inc. (WIBDI): Member
  • 2 observers
    • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): Observer
    • World Health Organization (WHO): Observer

FAO GM foods platform

You can use the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s international platform to access and share information on the safety assessment of GM Foods. This information applies mainly to foods derived from GM (or recombinant DNA) plants authorized in accordance with the Codex Plant Guidelines. Visit the GM foods platform www.fao.org/gm-platform

Use the FAO GM foods platform to access and share safety assessment information.

Strategic planning

The Strategic Plan is aligned to support the global Codex Strategic Plan within a five (5) year time frame, and seeks to achieve better coordination and interaction among member countries for strengthening national food safety systems. [Read More]

Samoa Ava Standard 2018

The main aim of the Ava Standard is to ensure that Samoan Ava:

  • Is produced and stored accordingly to good hygiene standards maintaining its quality,
  • Is safe to consume and
  • Is locally and internationally renowned and recognized as a quality product.

The purpose of this standard is to provide guidance on minimum requirements for ‘ava quality, to all participants of the ‘ava value chain, including consumers. It stipulates guidelines for health and safety measures, including information on approved cultivars.

Technical Barriers to Trade

The Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement aims to ensure that technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade. At the same time, it recognizes WTO members’ right to implement measures to achieve legitimate policy objective, such as the protection of human health and safety or protection of the environment. The Agreement strongly encourages members to base their measures on international standards as a means to facilitate trade.

TBT Enquiry Point

The Fair Trading, Codex Alimentarius, Consumer Protection and Metrology Division of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour is the focal point for Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) in Samoa.

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