Home » Departments » Competent Authority Unit

Competent Authority Unit

Vision:

Quality and Safe Seafood Products of Kiribati for Local and Global Markets

Mission:

Ensure and verify safety and suitability of fish and fishery products intended for human consumption, that are manufactured in onshore and offshore based establishments of Kiribati

Legal Framework

All official controls implemented by the Competent Authority for onshore and offshore based establishments are primarily focused mainly in enforcing and policing legislative requirements of Kiribati (Fish Export Regulations 2012 & Kiribati Industry Standards for Seafood Products) and that of importing countries such as US (USFDA) and EU (European Commission Laws on Food and Feed) to name a few.

  1. Fish Export Regulations 2012
  2. Kiribati Industry Standards for Seafood Products

As Verification Officers and Seafood Inspectors, our job is to ensure compliance and obedience to these national regulations and other international laws on food safety pertaining to fishery products.

Audit and Regulatory Assessment of Food Safety Programs

Food Safety Programs & Systems refer to systematic procedures and plans aimed at ensuring safety and suitability of foodstuff intended for human consumption. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Good Hygienic Practices (GHP), Standard Sanitary Operation Procedures (SSOP) are examples of food safety programs that can be used by fishery business operators intending to explore and pursue production of seafood products to both local international markets.

The Competent Authority is obligated to ensure that such programs are available and workable by fishery business operators and most importantly, meet the local and global market access and legislative requirements

Onshore Verification Works

Onshore-based establishments may include landing sites, processing plants, ice plants, cold stores,   transports, etc., that are involved in the production chain of fish and fishery products in Kiribati. As per requirements of the Competent Authority through the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development, food safety programs shall be in place and workable, implemented by trained officials and documentation systems must be verifiable. Establishments must be of sanitary conditions and suitable for manufacturing seafood products intended for human consumption.

The roles and responsibilities of the Competent Authority is to ensure and verify compliance of systematic controls used to control, regulate and control potential hazards (biological, chemical or physical) in fish and fishery products throughout the production chain so, that such products are of first and foremost safe to be eaten by local and global customers

Offshore Verification Works

Offshore-based establishments can refer only to fishing vessels that are Kiribati-Flagged and either land their catches in onshore-based establishments, transship to other Kiribati-Flagged vessels or export directly to the EU. Minimal requirements for such establishment are implementation of food safety programs, understanding of basic good hygienic practices by the crews, maintaining good sanitary conditions of vessel to control cross-contamination of fish and fishery products.

The Competent Authority is therefore mandated to guarantee and verify that such conditions or requirements are met by offshore fishery business operators to ensure safety and suitability of fish and fishery products for human consumption or further processing.

Analytical Testing of Fish and Water/Ice

Samples of fish and water/ice may be collected by the Competent Authority from offshore-based and onshore-based establishments for analytical testing in accredited or reference laboratories for parameters listed below;

  1. Biological Parameters: Pathogenic growth in fish and water tested against presence of E. coli, Enterococci, etc.
  2. Chemical Parameters: Marine biotoxins (scrombotoxin, ciguatoxin, etc.) and/or environmentally-induced toxins (heavy metals, agricultural by-products, free residual chlorine, etc.)
  3. Physical Parameters: Presence of glass, wood, etc.

The CA is required to ensure and verify that analytical test are conducted by fishery business operators and results meet the acceptable or permitted levels. Likewise, the CA will also be required to conduct its own sampling and analytical testing (currently done at accredited laboratory).

Requirement and Forms