South Sudan Officials Push for Fish Certification to Avert Export Woes

South Sudan Officials Push for Fish Certification to Avert Export Woes
Dry fish displayed in Yambio market of Western Equatoria State [Photo courtesy]

Summary:

  • The South Sudan National Bureau of Standards (SSNBS) is urging fish traders to obtain certification to ensure product safety and avoid export disruptions. Executive Director Gloria Nyoka Joseph emphasized the importance of adhering to standards and plans to launch awareness campaigns. Recent incidents in Uganda highlight the need for proper certification to maintain smooth exports within the East African Community (EAC).

The South Sudan National Bureau of Standards (SSNBS) is emphasizing the importance of certification for fish traders to uphold product safety standards and avoid export hiccups, echoing a recent incident in Uganda.

Gloria Nyoka Joseph, the Executive Director of SSNBS, spoke out on the matter following the detention of four truck drivers by Ugandan authorities and the imposition of fines on South Sudanese traders for shipping “immature fish” that failed to meet standards.

“We’re urging our traders to proactively seek certification from the regulatory body before exporting,” Nyoka informed journalists, highlighting the necessity of adhering to proper procedures.

She attributed the lapse to a lack of awareness regarding SSNBS’s pivotal role in ensuring product quality through stringent standards governing packaging, fish size, labeling, and more, which are standardized across the East African Community (EAC).

Nyoka underscored that compliance with these standards would facilitate smoother exports and prevent confrontations with neighboring nations, stating, “By adhering to these standards, our EAC partners can confidently accept our produce without hesitation. The recent incident was merely a procedural misstep.”

To enhance awareness, the SSNBS plans to launch extensive campaigns targeting traders, stressing the significance of quality standards in maintaining export competitiveness.

“Our mandate is to set and uphold standards for export-quality fish,” Nyoka reaffirmed, emphasizing that border authorities would scrutinize certification from relevant bodies before permitting exports.

Reports indicate that Ugandan authorities intercepted six trucks transporting salted fish from Juba to DR Congo due to packaging and processing infractions, resulting in hefty fines totaling 36 million Ugandan shillings (approximately $9,800) for South Sudanese traders, a penalty they deemed excessive and potentially detrimental to the principles of free trade within the EAC.

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