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1st National Codex Committee for Somalia resolves to adopt over 80 Codex standards


by Mohamed Aden Hersi, Codex Contact Point (CCP) for Somalia and Hakim Mufumbiro, Regional Coordinator, CCAFRICA

Wednesday 23 August 2023 marked a significant milestone for Somalia when the country’s 1st National Codex Committee (NCC) meeting was held, following two days of intensive capacity building sessions involving national stakeholders.

The sessions, held on 21 and 22 August in Mogadishu, Somalia, provided training on Codex work management and were attended by 27 different state and non-state stakeholders who are members of the NCC. Somalia has been a Member of Codex since 2009.

The broad objective of the training was to enhance the capacity of these national stakeholders to support the effective functioning of the national Codex infrastructure. It focused heavily on an introduction to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, including its relevance to Somalia, Codex standards development procedures and processes, approaches for effective stakeholder engagement at national level, the functions and responsibilities of national Codex committees, different Codex deliverables (standards, codes of practice, guidelines) and the role of science and risk analysis in Codex. The training also offered hands-on practical exercises on the use of the Codex website and online tools such as the Electronic Working Group Platform and Online Commenting System, use of the Codex Trust Fund Diagnostic Tool and how to generate and draft Codex positions.

In his address to the members of the NCC, the Representative of FAO in Somalia, Mr Etienne Peterschmitt, called for greater synergy between production systems, trade and the health sector in Somalia. He reaffirmed FAO’s commitment to support Codex activities in Somalia in order to establish functional food safety systems and structures as well as to raising awareness and visibility of Codex work.

The WHO Country Representative, Dr Sk Md Mamunur Rahman Malik, emphasized the need for effective implementation of international standards, which are a pre-requisite for maintaining consumer health while promoting fair practices in the food trade. He further expressed WHO's commitment to supporting Somalia to build a strong, sustainable and resilient Codex infrastructure while incorporating the food systems approach that involves all the key ministries and departments of government, as well as the private sector, consumer associations and civil society.

 The session adopted the following key resolutions:

  • To duly constitute the NCC for Somalia in order to guide the country on food safety and Codex matters
  • All members to continue participation and support in the work of Codex in Somalia
  • From January 2024, Somalia to effectively participate in 9 prioritized Codex Committees (the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA), the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food (CCCF), the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Food (CCRDVF), the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH), the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Services (CCFICS), the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR), the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO), the Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products (CCFFP) and the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (CCFFV)
  • Somalia to adopt 81 Codex standards within the next year through the Somalia Bureau of Standards (SOBS)
  • To continue with the engagement of other national stakeholders as may be required, to interest them in the work of the NCC
  • All members of the NCC to enrol in and complete the Codex eLearning course by June 2024
  • To initiate preparations to put together an application for submission to the Codex Trust Fund in Round 8 (September–December 2023)
  • Appreciated the support in convening the training and 1st NCC meeting for Somalia received from the African Union (AU) – InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, the United States Department of Agriculture and the FAO/WHO Codex Coordinating Committee for Africa (CCAFRICA)
  • Agreed to continue to engage with FAO, WHO, AU and partners for support on further capacity building and food safety infrastructure needs for Somalia, in order to build strong and solid food safety and Codex systems.

The establishment of the National Codex Committee for the country demonstrates the commitment of Somalia towards enhancing Food Safety measures and aligning with international standards for the ultimate protection of the health and safety of consumers and ensuring fair practices in food trade. The capacity building event for Somalia NCC was funded by AU-IBAR and the U.S. Codex Office.

About SOBS

The Somalia Bureau of Standards is an independent national agency, established by the Somali Standards and Quality Control Act (Lr27). It became operational in 2020. Its main roles include establishing a robust food quality infrastructure for Somalia (standards, metrology, accreditation and conformity assessment), protecting the safety of consumers from harmful and substandard products imported to Somalia, promoting export through standards harmonization, supporting standardization of local production, and affiliating to the regional and international standard bodies to contribute to the efforts made in standard development.


© Photo credit Mohamed Aden Hersi