- All exports of Coffee, Cocoa, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Kernel Cake, Ginger and Piassava require the requisite Permits or Export Licence from the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Applications must be made to the Senior Permanent Secretary and copy to the Executive Secretary, Produce Monitoring Board (PMB).
- The Senior Permanent Secretary or the Chief Director and Professional Head, will request the PMB to examine the premises of the exporter and confirm that he/she has met the statutory requirement.
- On confirmation from PMB, the Senior Permanent Secretary or the Chief Director will issue the Licence or decide otherwise
- All exporters are required to go through the PMB for further advise and to ensure that the quality of produce shipped meets the International Standards. Exporters are also required to pay a 2.5% levy on the F.O.B. value of the export
Exporters are required to submit with their application the following documents:
- Certificate of Registration for a Sole Proprietorship
- Certificate of Registration and Certification of incorporation if it is a corporate body/company.
- Produce Dealers Licence which entitles the exporters to buy produce locally for export
- Tax Clearance
- Letter from the PMB that the exporter has met the statutory requirement of having a proper store with all the instrument needed for the operation.
STANDARDS & QUALITY SCHEME
Standards are universally recognized as one of the key strategic elements of product competitiveness in domestic and international markets and also for successful market access.
The following agencies are important resources for information on food safety standards, product quality standards, and other standards related issues.
Produce Monitoring Board (PMB)
Agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Responsible for regulating the produce sector. Monitors quality of all produce before shipment.
- Address: 10 Lightfoot Boston Street, Delco House, Freetown.
- Mobile:+232 76 391900, 76 912262, 76 601232, 88 999505
- Website:www.pmb-sl.org, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sierra Leone Standards Bureau (SLSB)
Agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Responsible for management of national standards and quality of goods in the Country.
- Address: Wahman Abu Compound, Kelsey Road Kissy- Ferry Junction, Kissy, SL-Freetown.
- Tele:+232 -22-203824
Competent Authority (CA)
Responsible for EU Market Certification of Fish Products, Processing Plants and Fishing Vessels. Established under the Food Unit of Ministry of Health and Sanitation.
The following voluntary certifications are used in Sierra Leone in the agriculture sector and other relevant International certification bodies.
There are several certification systems that use the term fair trade but differ in the standards they apply, the products they apply them to, and the recognition the awarded certification carries. In general, fair trade aims to build dignified trading relationships between consumers in developed countries and producers in developing countries. This involves changing the way that international trade works, so that producers are guaranteed a minimum price for their goods, obtain the security of long term trading contracts, benefit from guaranteed minimum health and safety conditions, do not suffer exploitation and receive education and training opportunities
- Cooperation of Fair Trade in Africa (cofta.org)
- Ecocert (ecocert.com)
- Fair Trade Labeling Organizations (fairtrade.net)
- Institute for Market Ecology (imo.ch)
- Transfair (tranfairusa.org) (www.transfair.ca)
(Please note: this list is not exhaustive.)
Utz Kapeh is a certification programme that enables coffee producers to grow coffee in a sustainable way. This program was founded in 1997 by Guatemalan coffee producers and the Dutch coffee roaster, Ahold Coffee Company.
The code of conduct is benchmarked against the EurepGap code. Criteria from ILO (International Labour Organization) conventions have also been added.
The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal assures consumers that the product they are purchasing has been grown and harvested using environmentally and socially responsible practices. Farms and forestlands that meet the rigorous third-party standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network or the Forest Stewardship Council are awarded the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal
Organic agriculture emphasizes soil fertility and biological activity while avoiding the use of non renewable resources, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, in order to protect the environment and human health. To be certified organic, products must be produced in accordance with organic production and processing standards and certified by a duly constituted certification body or authority
- Agri Food (http://agrifoodcert.com)
- Australian certified organic BDOCA (http://www.bdoca.co.za)
- Bio (http://bio-siegel.de)
- Eco-cert (http://ecocert.com)
- IMO (http://imo.ch)
- Lacon (http://laconindia.com)
- QAI (http://qai-inc.com)
- Soil Association (http://soilassociation.org)
GLOBALGAP is a private sector body that sets voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products. The GLOBALGAP standards apply to the way food is produce on farms. The program aims to minimize detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, reducing the use of chemical inputs and ensuring a responsible approach to worker health and safety as well as animal welfare. GLOBALGAP serves as a practical manual for Good Agricultural Practice (G.A.P.) anywhere in the world. It is based on an equal partnership of agricultural producers and retailers who wish to establish efficient certification standards and procedures.
ISO QUALITY CERTIFICATION
ISO 9000 is a family of standards for quality management systems (QMS). ISO 9000 is
maintained by ISO, the International Standardization Organization, and is administered by accreditation and certification bodies. Some of the requirements in ISO 9001 (which is one of the standards in the ISO 9000 family) include a set of procedures that cover all key processes in businesses, monitoring processes to ensure they are effective, keeping adequate records, checking output for defects (with appropriate and corrective action where necessary), regularly reviewing individual processes and the quality system itself for effectiveness and facilitating continual improvement
- SGS (http://sgs.com)
- Sierra Leone Standards Bureau (SLSB), Email: email@example.com
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is an industry-wide effort approved by the scientific community as well as regulatory and industry practitioners. This effort is designed to focus specifically on food safety, including food safety in retail establishments.
The HACCP program is designed to raise awareness of the Critical Control Points within an establishment and ensure that these critical points are monitored in order to produce a safe food supply. It helps to ensure that food is safe from harvest to consumption (from farm to fork)
Additional information on quality and standards requirements of importing countries may be obtained from:
- Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries, housed within the Dutch Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, features market information on the European Union (EU), market surveys, match-making services for importers in Europe and exporters in the developing and least developed world, and food safety standards in the EU.cbi.nl
- Codex Alimentarius Commission by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization to develop food standards, guidelines, and related texts, such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
- European Commission’s (EC) Directorate on General Health and Consumer Protection maintains a website with up-to-date laws on the safety of food and other products, on consumers’ rights and on the protection of people’s health. It is the job of national, regional, or local governments in EU countries to apply the laws and ensure that traders, manufacturers and food observe the rules.
- Quality Infrastructure in the East African Community is a forum for harmonizing regional quality standards and norms in a number of areas. The website is rich with information on the experiences of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda in complying with international standards in food and agriculture; building and construction; mechanical engineering and metallurgy; chemicals and chemical products; textiles, apparel, and leather; electronics and information technology; metrology and testing; management systems & and service standards; environment, health, and safety; consumer products and general standards; energy; transport and packaging.
- South African Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) was established in 1926 to control all perishable exports from South Africa, the value of which is approximately 9 billion S.A. Rands. The information on this site may offer some insight into quality standards of South African exports to other countries.
- The Trade Help Desk for Developing Countries operated by the Market Access Unit of the EC’s Directorate on Trade Information on EU and Member States’ import requirements as well as internal taxes applicable to products; information on EU preferential import regimes benefiting developing countries; trade data for the EU and its individual Member States
- World Bank Group’s Trade and Competitiveness Group has a comprehensive website, which among other things, provides a page with links to research programs on standards; operational work on standards of other development agencies (including both bilateral and multilateral agencies, USAID, European Union, UNIDO and FAO), and general links to various other agencies and private standards initiatives.