- World Trade Organisation/ TBT Enquiry Point
The National Enquiry Point (NEP) serves as a referral service focal point in Nigeria for trade information, standards, standards-related information, technical regulations, and conformity assessment processes and procedures. Conformity assessment activities include standard development programme, inspection, market surveillance, testing, certification, metrology and accreditation being implemented the SON and recognized government agencies. The NEP has the responsibility to responds to written, voice, email and any walk-in clients for information National and International trade related issues.
Search are conducted through various available paper databases, indexes, CD-ROM indexes and relevant online sources world-wide, including WTO/TBT notifications alert bulletin issued every fortnight to the NEP. SON Standards Work Programme bulletin for the issuing year; say 2016 The National Enquiry Point (NEP), issues notifications issues Regulatory and Conformity Assurance Notifications the WTO secretariat concerning:
- Impending implementation of new or revised technical regulations in the country.
- Code of Good Practice on the preparation, adoption, and application of standards and conformity assessment procedures.
- Statements of Implementation and Administration of the TBT Agreement.
- Bilateral or Plurilateral agreements.
- How is the Standards document developed
The WTO secretariat then makes this information available to all WTO members. In this way, the WTO-TBT Agreement ensures that the whole system of technical regulations is open and transparent to the members.
NEP responds to enquiries on standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures. The enquiries may emanate from the local industry or from foreign investors based in other WTO member states. Provision of documents related to notifications:
The National Enquiry Point facilitates the provision of full regulatory text of the notifications upon request.
Codex standards and information are key components of the resource base of NEP activities. Handling of comments on Notifications:
NEP handles comments received from foreign countries on Nigerian notifications.
Dissemination of foreign notifications to the Industry: The NEP staff downloads notifications from the WTO website. The summaries of notifications are then carefully screened and channelled to the affected Nigeria’s exporters/importers and other stakeholders for their information needs, reference, review and technical comment. They include:
- Federal Government of Nigeria and related MDA’s;
- Trade and industry;
- Importers and exporters;
- National Mirror (Technical) committees
- Academic and Research Institutions;
- Recognized consumer organizations etc.
- MISSION AND VISION
To create and maintain a national framework in regard to national produce access to national, regional and global markets by use of adopted/adapted food codex standards.
To guide and promote the elaboration and establishment of definitions and requirements for food standards and related national infrastructure to create environment for the national produce to gain access and maintain markets in national, regional and global arena.
What is CODEX?
The Codex Alimentarius "Food Code" was established by FAO and the World Health Organization in 1963 to develop harmonised international food standards, which protect consumer health and promote fair practices in food trade. It is about safe, good food for everyone - everywhere. International food trade has existed for thousands of years but until not too long ago food was mainly produced, sold and consumed locally. Over the last century, the amount of food traded internationally has grown exponentially, and a quantity and variety of food never before possible travels the globe today. The CODEX ALIMENTARIUS international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice contribute to the safety, quality and fairness of this international food trade. Consumers can trust the safety and quality of the food products they buy and importers can trust that the food they ordered will be in accordance with their specifications.
How CODEX came about?
The Eleventh Session of the FAO Conference in 1961 and the Sixteenth World Health Assembly in 1963 both passed resolutions to establish the Codex Aliment Arius Commission. The two bodies also adopted the Statutes and Rules of Procedure for the Commission. The Statutes provide the legal basis for the Commission’s work and formally reflect the concepts behind and reasons for its establishment. Article 1 of the Statutes provides the Commission with its purposes, terms of reference and objectives. Article 2 defines eligibility for membership of the Commission, which is open to all Member Nations and Associate Members of FAO and WHO. In 2005, membership comprised 171 countries, representing 98 percent of the world’s population. The European Community is a Member Organization. The Rules of Procedure of the Codex Aliment Arius Commission describe and formalize working procedures appropriate to an intergovernmental body. They provide for:
- Conditions of membership of the Commission;
- Appointment of Commission officers, including the chairperson, three vice-chairpersons, regional coordinators and a secretary, and prescribe their responsibilities;
- Establishment of an Executive Committee to meet between Commission sessions, to act on behalf of the Commission as its executive organ;
- Frequency and operation of Commission sessions;
- Nature of agendas for Commission sessions;
- Voting procedures;
- Preparation of Commission records and reports;
- Establishment of subsidiary bodies;
- Procedures to be adopted in the elaboration of standards;
- Allocation of a budget and estimates of expenditure; and
- Languages used by the Commission.
- Representation. The Commission is truly an international body. Since it was formed, there have been chairpersons from Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Vice-chairpersons have been drawn from Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Ghana, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Senegal, the Sudan, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United Republic of Tanzania and the United States of America.