Food Safety Agency in the Making


With the recent implementation of the “One Stop Shop” Import Export Inspection Centre, plans are now afoot to implement a Food Safety Agency to consolidate the work of the seven agencies housed at the centre.
The announcement was made by chairperson of the sub-committee for the establishment of the Jamaica Import Export Inspection Centre, Sheila Harvey, Wednesday (July 1) at a JIS Think Tank session.
According to Mrs. Harvey, a consultant from the Agricultural Support Services Project (ASSP) is now looking at approximately 20 acts and regulations related to the agencies, and will be making the necessary adjustments to create an interlink.
“The consultant is now looking at all of them to see what is necessary and what is not necessary, and then try to combine what is left. When this is done, we will have a food safety agency that will handle the food safety acts and food safety regulations,” she said.
She stated that this agency will reduce paperwork, but may take approximately three-four years to come on stream.
“The Food Safety Agency will provide for one certificate, one fee structure and one permit application for all seven agencies in the centre, instead of having seven,” she asserted.
Emphasising that this is in step with the E-Trade system the Government is promoting, Mrs. Harvey said it provides for a single import/export permit.
“There is an E-Trade system that is being promoted by the Government, and Fiscal Services is presently working on having everybody interlinked. So, sooner or later, we won’t have several different certificates, because you will now have one import permit and that will handle all the different agencies,” Mrs. Harvey explained.
The establishment of the One Stop Shop (OSS) came out of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed between three Ministries: Agriculture and Fisheries; Health; and Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC).
The MOU is aimed at, among other things, offering customer service in a timely and efficient manner. Bringing together the regulatory agencies under one roof is designed to significantly reduce the time taken to complete the inspection processes.

JIS Social