Western Cape minister of agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, recently visited the Western Cape veterinary export certification office (VECO) which will be migrating from a paper-based system to an electronic certification system in June 2020. This will result in greater efficiency and improved market access facilitation.
Based in Milnerton, VECO provides assurance to the relevant role-players in the exporting country and the relevant role-players in the importing country that the animal or product complies with the requirements of the importing country.
Minister Meyer said: “To grow our economy in the Western Cape we will have to increase our export of agricultural products. I am pleased that the development of the new electronic certification system is on track, as it will lead to greater efficiency and improved market access facilitation.”
New electronic certification system
The system will provide the names of establishments, their products, product manufacturing standard operating procedures, required permits and audit outcomes, quantities and commercial values of all cargo handled and already captured on the system.
Exporters will simply use drop-boxes to populate their applications. Exporters will be able to access the system remotely, thus eliminating unnecessary traveling back and forth to VECO.
During the period 2010 to 2019, the Western Cape contributed 44% to South Africa’s animal and animal by-product exports.
The Western Cape veterinary export certification office issues nearly 1 600 export permits per month with a total value of R5 billion per annum.
Improved food safety
“The veterinary export certification office operates to accommodate companies late at night and on weekends, understanding the key role it plays in promoting our exports around the world.
“Electronic processing of export certificates will also offer the added advantage of improved food safety and enhanced fraud detection,” said minister Meyer. – Press release, Western Cape Government