NAB improves border control regime

Martin Endjala

The Namibia Agronomic Board (NAB) have intensified its border control regime by conducting regular compliance assessments for imports, exports and transit consignment to determine the status of compliance in the crop industry.

According to NAB’s financial year 2022/23 report, the board announced the appointment of more border control inspectors at commercial ports of entry and exit in order to implement the strategic initiative.

NAB has since then facilitated the clearance of consignments for importation, exportation and transit, in which satisfactory performance was recorded in relation to industry compliance with the regulatory framework.

To date, the board has developed 16 crop-specific marketing and commercial quality control standards for horticultural products and published them as Namibian Standards (NAMS) in collaboration with the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI), of which the four (berry fruits, citrus fruits, lettuce and watermelons) were developed and published during the 2022/23 financial year.

The NAB’s Public Relations Officer, Auguste Fabian, said that crop-specific marketing and commercial quality control standards are key and critical instruments to the crop-producing industry and the regulator in that, specifies the minimum requirements for the commercial classification and grading of these products.

This includes quality and food safety parameters that are necessary to enhance the quality of the product both locally and imported.

Fabians said that the NAB provides a tool for access to markets, increased competitiveness and levelling the playing field.

The Namibia Food Control system is aimed at developing a regulatory framework to monitor and enforce compliance to quality and food safety pertaining to the exportation, importation, local production and trading, and transit of controlled products in Namibia.

So far, NAB has developed and finalized four regulations pertaining to the exportation, importation, local production and trading, and transit of controlled products, which will provide a framework to enforce and monitor compliance within the crop industry, in accordance with Sections 13 and 24 of the Agronomic Industry Act No. 20 of 1992.

The next step is the approval of the regulations by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Land and Reform to pave the way for publication in the Government Gazette by the Ministry of Justice and enforcement thereof.

The overall compliance rate for controlled agronomic and horticultural products for the 2022/23 financial year is recorded at 94 percent in terms of the industry’s adherence to regulatory measures being implemented for the control of imports, exports, transits, as well as that of food safety and quality requirements.

Industry players are, therefore, encouraged to acquaint themselves with the requirements contained in the Namibian Standards and Regulations as they define the administrative and technical requirements.

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