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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Fiji wants 'Global sourcing' for fish

The rules of origin for fisheries export is one of the key areas being discussed under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the EU and the Pacific African Caribbean and Pacific countries (PACP).
"Fiji and the Pacific ACP States are seeking favorable rules of origin for fisheries products, especially, for fresh, frozen and chilled fish. This is commonly referred to as global sourcing provisions," Ministry of Industries and Trade permanent secretary of Fiji, Shaheen Ali said.
In other words, Fiji is seeking derogation from the rules to allow fish from foreign vessels (as well as local vessels) to be processed in Pacific factories and exported to the EU, at preferential tariff rates. The derogation would enable Fiji to source fish from approved sources, process it and export it to the EU.
While the Pacific ACP States may have fisheries resources, he said many of them, particularly the smaller island states, lacked the infrastructure and the capacity to process and canned fish. He added many PACP States also lacked their own fishing fleet, which was a key requirement in order for their fish to qualify for duty free entry into the EU market.
"Global sourcing will enable Pacific ACP states to source fish caught in PACP waters and export it to the EU, regardless of who catches it, as long as it is landed in the region for processing," Ali said.

The currents rules do not allow PACP countries to buy fish for export to the EU from foreign owned and foreign flagged vessels, even if the fish was caught within PACP waters.
Under an interim agreement, the EU has agreed to grant global sourcing for canned fish from the Pacific. But the PACP wanted global sourcing to be extended to fresh fish and frozen fish.

Source: The Fiji Times Online