Facilities to enhance market access for fish
The Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) recently inaugurated its N$7.8 million Fishery Inspection Centre in Luderitz, which was completed on 5 December 2011. The centre consists of staff offices and an inspection laboratory. It will enable the NSI to conduct its operations in line with international standards.
The facilities will further enable the NSI Fishery Inspectorate at Lüderitz to obtain accreditation as an inspection body, thus increasing market access for Namibian fishery products.
During the inauguration, President Hifikepunye Pohamba, represented by the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhard Esau said that: “In order for Namibia to achieve these objectives and to gain a competitive edge both within the SADC Region and internationally, there is no other choice than to develop the country’s national quality infrastructure to provide the much needed services to our industry. The national quality infrastructure refers to standardisation, quality assurance, conformity assessment and metrology as part of the mandate of the NSI as the country’s national standards body.”
He continued that the NSI is not only developing and adopting Namibian standards, but has established food laboratory and inspection centres at Walvis Bay which are accredited to international standards, making NSI issued certificates acceptable around the world.
President Pohamba emphasised that the NSI Certification unit issues NSI Marks of Conformity and he called upon Namibian made products to be certified by the NSI in order to bear the NSI Marks of Conformity so that such products can be competitive at home, in the region, on the African continent and around the world.
He called upon the business community in Namibia “to effectively maximise their use of the services offered by the NSI and to actively participate in the NSI standardisation work so that they can benefit from the opportunities being offered by intra – African trade.”
Dr Hage Geingob, Minister of Trade and Industry, remarked that the NSI continues to strengthen the services that it provides to the fishing and mariculture industry, the NSI has embarked on expanding its testing capacity to heavy metals, histamine and norovirus in fish and fishery products.
These additional test methods are essential to reduce the turnaround time of tests which have hitherto been conducted outside Namibia.
“I am also informed that the NSI also has commenced with work to implement the country’s Shellfish Sanitation Programme and will soon apply to the country’s trading partners for Namibia to be added to the list of third countries approved to export shellfish to the European Union and other markets in North America and Asia,” he said.