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Official News

Saturday, 20 January 2018

“The work of SFSS must guarantee that it protects citizens’ interests” - PM Introduced to State Food Safety Service Performance Report for 2017

Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan was presented today the activities and priorities completed by the State Food Safety Service of the Ministry of Agriculture in 2017, as well as the tasks set for 2018.

SFSF Director Ishkhan Karapetyan reported that in 2017, the Service implemented all the measures envisaged by the government program, aimed at preventing unacceptable risks of harmful effects on consumers’ life or health, clarification and simplification of import and export procedures for foreign economic entities.

The SFSS initiated a series of programs needed to ensure the efficient functioning of the food safety system in Armenia, including transition to compulsory slaughterhouse fishing, provision of sanitary passports for vehicles, digitalization and databases, simplification and clarification of border control procedures, laboratory capacity development, risk assessment model development and phased introduction, rating system development and introduction, numbering of agricultural animals, chain operators introduce HACCP system to boost domestic food exports and implementation of monitoring programs.

Before reporting progress in the programs, the SFSS Director briefed the Prime Minister on the recorded indicators and the results of the monitoring carried out in 2017. No incidences of massive food poisoning or quarantine harmful items were detected in the period under review. The Service formed a database of food chain operators to oversee the implementation of the target. The number of food chain operators registered in the SFSS database has increased 16 times from 855 (2016) reaching 13794 (2017), and the number of hotline complaints increased 3 times. More than 1,300 supervisory measures were implemented, including 717 inspections, 608 monitoring and 84 monitoring campaigns, as a result of which tangible improvements were observed in targeted areas and industries. At the same time, State control was carried out by the following approach: consultation, provision of time for correcting the situation, and then only applying administrative responsibility.

Proceeding to the results, Ishkhan Karapetyan reported that within the framework of the mandatory slaughterhouse program the number of slaughterhouses was estimated and four types were separated. A slaughterhouse development program has been implemented within the framework of which 18 slaughterhouses are currently in operation, 2 of them have been commissioned and 21 are under construction. Besides, 30-40 individuals have expressed their desire to build a new slaughterhouse, as a result 71 slaughterhouses are expected. In parallel with slaughterhouse skin, control over meat market, sanitary and hygienic conditions, accompanying documents, veterinary-sanitary expertise.

The SFSS approved the procedure for granting sanitary passports, the model form and timetable of sanitary passports under which a stage-by-stage passage of vehicles is being implemented. The SFSS has started issuing sanitary passports for vehicles in 2017. Since August 1, 569 bakeries and 124 meat and meat products have been provided with sanitary passports in Yerevan and the regions. The Service implemented the One-Stop-Shop principle of Armenia’s foreign trade, electronic accounting of sanitary passports, electronic registration of control, electronic registration of food chain operators, introduction of an automated calculation system of imported goods, introduction of the electronic system of certification of slaughterhouse products, etc. The creation of a single automated information management system will continue in 2018.

Emphasizing the importance of continued digitization in the Service, the Head of Government said, “When the number of inspections is increased according to the logic of consultation, time, then administrative measures; if you create a database, have statistics, and then classify the business chain participants, you will know exactly who you should check once a year, once in two months, or every 2 years because they are law-abiding. Statistics, having a separate story for everyone, is a very important job. And it is also important to understand how much business life has been eased and contacts reduced due to digitization. These observations should be regular.”

It was reported that within the framework of simplification and clarification of border control procedures, there were carried out systematic and centralized services, reduced terms of services, reduced administration. Through the use of the One-Stop-Shop principle at customs checkpoints, seasonal fruits export management has been substantially simplified, as well as effective export mechanisms by simplified procedure and administration through the Upper Lars checkpoint. Food Safety Laboratory Completes ISO.

The Special Drugs Symptoms Laboratory, as well as the new veterinary laboratory have been launched, and 7 regional centers have been repaired. A risk assessment model, a concept paper on investment in Armenia, has been developed with the support of the UN FAO to initiate the assessment of Armenia's capacities in risk assessment and management. The Animal Identification, Identification and Registration Program and the concept of food classification and food chain operators' rating system development have been elaborated.

Work is underway to introduce the HACCP system in food chain operators to expand the range of local food production opportunities. 2018 it is envisaged to carry out large-scale monitoring programs in veterinary control of animal infectious diseases 2, control of residual materials in animal and plant origin products.

The SFSS Director noted that the programs and activities implemented in the reporting year will continue in 2018. Prime Minister Karapetyan, referring to the State Food Safety Service in 2018, prioritizing its priorities, has instructed to work consistently to record results both in domestic and foreign markets in the field of food safety.

“Try to explore what signals we need to send to the world, and also which way others are monitoring and publishing their reports so that we could earn more confidence in our certificate of country of origin. We have great potential in agriculture and cattle breeding. Your service is crucial in terms of avoiding the business squeeze. We are obliged to ensure that our citizens who buy sour cream or something else believe that there is a service protecting their interests, and that businesses can not violate the established norms in order to get super-profits or other benefits. Besides, it is extremely important for you to provide favorable conditions for businesses to enter the market,” the Head of Government said.

April 2024