Traceability of aquatic bioresources: draft law No. 9545 recommended for consideration

The Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine supported draft law No. 9545, developed with the participation of the BRDO team. The important document brings a significant part of the circulation of aquatic biological resources “out of the shadows”, opens foreign markets to Ukrainian exporters and promotes the country’s European integration.

What exactly should draft law No. 9545 change?

The document, jointly developed by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, the State Fisheries Agency and the BRDO, is aimed at Ukraine’s implementation of EU legislation, in particular the following provisions:

  • Council Regulation (EC) No. 1224/2009 of November 20, 2009;
  • Council Regulation (EC) No. 1005/2008 dated September 29, 2008;
  • Council Regulation (EU) No. 1380/2013 of December 11, 2013.

The draft law envisages the creation of a new component of the eRyba platform – the Electronic Traceability System of the origin of aquatic biological resources and/or products produced from aquatic biological resources. The digital solution will make it possible to record all operations with objects of industrial fishing and aquaculture, and centrally store information about them in the specified system.

Also, the document introduces into the national legislation of Ukraine the permit documents required by the regulations of the European Union, as mandatory for customs clearance of traceable aquatic biological resources and/or products from them during export-import operations and re-export. It is about:

  • certificate of origin of aquatic biological resources (Certificate of Origin);
  • certificate for catching aquatic biological resources (Catch Certificate);
  • certificate for the re-export of aquatic biological resources (Re-export Certificate);
  • certificate on the processing of traceable aquatic biological resources and/or products from them.

Why is this important?

The implementation of the provisions of draft law No. 9545 will allow the introduction of European principles of traceability of aquatic biological resources in Ukraine.

100% chain of traceability. According to Article 58 of Regulation (EC) No. 1224/2009, all consignments of fishery and aquaculture products must be traceable at all stages of production, processing and distribution, from the stage of catching or harvesting to the stage of retail trade;

Fight against IUU fishing. Traceability systems help monitor the circulation of aquatic biological resources from the stage of catch to the stage of sale to the consumer. Provided that operators comply with the requirements of documentation and monitoring of fishing activities, these systems help not only to detect violations, but also prevent illegal, unaccountable and unregulated fishing.

Ensuring the safety of food products. Traceability systems ensure high quality products from aquatic bioresources, and consumers – safety of consumption. By timely documenting and processing information about each stage of the supply chain of aquatic biological resources, authorities can quickly identify and eliminate any risks such as product contamination or improper storage conditions. Due to this, the protection of the rights of not only domestic consumers, but also foreign consumers of Ukrainian fish products is improved.

Promotion of sustainable development. By providing the consumer with accurate and verified information about the origin of the fish and the methods of its production, the traceability system allows buyers to make a conscious, not mindless, choice in favor of products obtained through sustainable fishing practices. Thanks to labeling schemes and certification programs, consumers will be able to identify among aquatic bioresources products that are made from responsible fisheries and environmental standards.

The Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy recommended that the Verkhovna Rada adopt the Law “On Ensuring the Traceability of Aquatic Bioresources and/or Products Produced from Aquatic Bioresources” as a basis. We thank the legislators for supporting the reform of the fisheries industry in Ukraine and are waiting for the first reading of the document in the parliament.