Recent Committee Meetings
The Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS) held its 19th Session in Cairns,
Australia. The main document for the meeting was "Proposed Draft Principles and Guidelines for National Control Systems,"
and the Committee agreed to forward Sections 1-3, including 13 draft principles, for adoption at Step 5. The Committee
discussed the content of Section 4 relating to design and implementation of the national control system, and made decisions
on concepts to be included under the general headings of Policy Setting, System Design, Implementation, and Monitoring and
System Review. This section remains at Step 2, and will be the subject of a physical working group meeting tentatively
scheduled for the second quarter of 2012 in Grange, Ireland.
In other action, the Committee:
- Declined to begin new work on export certificate attestations.
- Generally supported a proposal from Costa Rica for work on a harmonized questionnaire for gathering information
from exporting countries, but requested more information before approving new work. Costa Rica will lead an electronic
working group to prepare a discussion paper and project document for the next CCFICS meeting.
- Declined to approve at this time a new work proposal from the United States to develop performance metrics for
countries to assess the capacity of national control systems. While generally supporting the concept, the Committee
preferred to wait until the National Control Systems document was completed. The United States will develop a questionnaire
for distribution to member countries to gather information on how countries currently assess systems, and will prepare a
discussion paper and project document for the next CCFICS meeting. Agreed that the United States would prepare
- Agreed that the United States would prepare a discussion paper for consideration at the next CCFICS meeting on managing
food safety emergency situations in relation to international trade. The paper is to take into account two existing CCFICS
texts, FAO/WHO guidance and mechanisms, and proposals for incorporation of animal feed references in the documents.
The U.S. Delegate will provide a more detailed report on this Session, which we will publish
shortly on our companion page for Recent Delegate Reports:
The Codex Secretariat will publish the formal report of this Session at: www.codexalimentarius.org.
The next CCFICS meeting is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 18-22, 2013.
New Electronic Working Groups (eWG)
Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products (CCFFP): Chile and France will chair a new eWG
(working in English, French and Spanish) with the mandate of creating a simplified procedure to facilitate the
inclusion of new species in standards for fish and fishery products. Individuals in the United States interested
in contributing to the eWG should send their names, official titles, and email addresses to the U.S. Codex Office
Codex Members and Observers interested in participating in the eWG should provide
the names, official positions, institutions and email addresses of their representatives to: Ms. Loreto Rodriguez
and Dr. Urwana Querrec (
before November 1st, 2011. The goal is to submit the final eWG report to the Codex Secretariat By June 1, 2012.
India: V.N. Gaur, chief executive officer and now acting chairman of the Food Safety & Standards Authority of
India (FSSAI) met with the Codex Office on October 20 as part of a visit to the United States. Mr. Gaur described
the recent establishment of FSSAI, which was created by the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006. In addition to
its regulatory authority, FSSAI is the new home agency for the Codex Contact Point of India. Mr. Gaur has attended
Codex meetings, and expressed an interest in promoting closer cooperation between U.S. and Indian delegations, as
well as between the contact points of both countries. Mr. Gaur was accompanied by Dr. G. Srinivasan, the head of the
FSSAI regional office for the port of Chennai.
New Delegate - Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS): Dr. Gregory Noonan was recently
appointed as the U.S. Delegate, replacing Dr. Gregory Diachenko, who successfully served as U.S. delegate to the
CCMAS for over fifteen years. Dr. Noonan has been actively involved in the last five sessions of CCMAS, including
leading the U.S. delegation at the Work Group on Endorsement of Methods. He has been with the Food and Drug Administration’s
(FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition since 2002, focusing on development of analytical methods for determining
direct and indirect additives and contaminants in foods.
New Website: The Codex Alimentarius Commission has launched new website:
www.codexalimentarius.org. Some of the new website’s benefits include:
- New layout intended to be more user-friendly;
- Search function works across the entire site, including all reports and agendas;
- New feature allows direct access to all sessions held by a specific Codex Committee, including every text developed by it; and
- Link to the Codex Channel on YouTube.
In the next few months, the Codex Secretariat intends to make the interface of the site available in Arabic,
Chinese and Russian. The old website (www.codexalimentarius.net) will
remain online at least until the end of the year.
Previous Codex News: