The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) announced that it has implemented a set of measures at UAE ports to facilitate and expedite the entry and testing of inbound food consignments. The move aims to ensure continued food supply in the run-up to the Holy Month of Ramadan.
These measures include the deployment of higher numbers of veterinary quarantine doctors and veterinary laboratory technicians, in addition to increasing staffing levels at laboratories at ports of entry.
Moreover, MOCCAE is verifying that veterinary laboratories at ports and the Sharjah Central Laboratory are equipped with the latest veterinary diagnostic test kits to accelerate the process and accommodate a higher number of consignments. The enhanced testing methodology guarantees that all animal food sources are free from contamination, and prevents the spread of contagious diseases that can affect humans.
His Excellency Sultan Alwan, Assistant Undersecretary for the Regions Sector and Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector at MOCCAE, said: “MOCCAE leverages online and smart channels to ensure the continuity and flexibility of its services. We recently added eight e-services to our wide-ranging portfolio that supports the food supply chain, now totaling 68 services.”
Between January 1 and April 21, 2020, the UAE’s ports received 240 livestock consignments that included 251,000 head of sheep, 4,972 head of cattle, and 590 head of camel. Meanwhile, the country’s land ports processed 128,000 tons of inbound consignments of fruits and vegetables during the same period.
Once produce and livestock consignments arrive at the UAE’s borders, they are only allowed to enter the country after examining the shipping documents and conducting visual examinations and laboratory tests to ensure they are disease-free. Consignments that fail the tests remain in quarantine for treatment or are returned to the country of origin.
To maintain an uninterrupted food supply, MOCCAE spares no effort in expanding the country’s produce and livestock export base. In this context, the Ministry coordinates with the countries of origin to agree on the health certificates that will accompany consignments, as well as the technical and health requirements prior to exporting their shipments to the UAE.