Services offered by the Monitoring Control Surveillance/Vessel Monitoring System/Port State Control and Import/Export Division
The main objective/s of the division are amongst others to implement the conservation and management measures for
· combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing;
· monitoring licensed fishing boats/vessels in the EEZ of Mauritius through the VMS;
· keeping the port free of illegal fishing boats/vessels;
· controlling import and export of fish and fish products;
· ensuring that only legally caught fish are traded; and
· ensuring a continuous supply of safe fish and fish products for local consumption.
To attain these objectives, national, regional and international tools are utilised such as the Fisheries and Marine Resources Act and its associated Regulations (VMS, Import/Export, etc.), the National Plan of Action to combat IUU fishing, FAO Port State Measures, Online electronic port state measures (e-psm), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Code of Conduct for responsible fishing, Resolutions of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
The Division is also involved in projects implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC). These include the observer programme and the national and regional fisheries surveillance programmes. As such, fishing activities of the Mauritian flagged fishing vessels are monitored during their fishing campaigns. In the regional fisheries surveillance programme which is also known as the Plan Régional de Surveillance des Pêches dans le Sud Ouest de l’Ocean Indien. At the national level, Officers of the Division participate regularly in fisheries surveillance missions undertaken by the National Coast Guard in the EEZ of Mauritius.
PORT STATE CONTROL UNIT
The Port State Control Unit is based at the One Stop Shop - Seafood Hub located at the Trade and Marketing Centre in the Freeport Zone, Mer Rouge, Port Louis. The main activities carried out by the Port State Control Unit are listed below:
· Boarding and inspection of fishing boats/vessels (both local & foreign).
· Issue Departure Clearances to local fishing boats/vessels to leave port for fishing campaigns.
· Monitor all banks fishing vessels during unloading operations to ensure that no toxic or undersized fish are being unloaded.
· Issue authorisation for landing of fish to all fishing vessels calling in the port.
· Issue of Catch Certificates for fish caught by the local fishing vessels.
· Endorse Processing Statements for fish and fish products intended for export to the EU market.
· Validation of the Bigeye tuna re-export document, IOTC Bigeye Tuna Statistical Document and IOTC Swordfish Statistical Document.
· Validation of the Dissosticus Export Document (DED).
· Supervise unloading of Patagonian tooth fish in the Port and reporting the exact weight to CCAMLR.
· Online processing of Advance Request for Entry into Port (AREP) from Agents through e-psm (IOTC).
· Carry out survey for local fishing vessels prior to departure.
VESSEL MONITORING SYSTEM
The Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) housed at the Fisheries Monitoring Centre situated at the Albion Fisheries Research Centre plays an important role to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing. The main activities of the VMS are listed below -
· to monitor fishing activities of local and foreign licensed fishing vessels for better protection and management of the fisheries resources in the EEZ of Mauritius.
· VMS monitors the location, speed and direction of licensed fishing vessels by means of Inmarsat and Argos satellite-based tracking systems.
· Verification of logbooks against VMS data.
Officer in Charge, One Stop Shop – Seafood Hub
Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping
1st Floor, Trade and Marketing Centre,
Freeport Zone, Mer Rouge
Republic of Mauritius
Phone: +(230) 206 2829 and Fax: +(230) 206 2650)
IMPORT AND EXPORT UNIT
Import and Export of fish and fish products is controlled by the Import/Export Unit of the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping which is based at the One Stop Shop Seafood Hub. The main objectives of the Import/Export Unit are to ensure that:
· only good quality and wholesome fish and fish products are marketed in the country;
· the products have been certified fit for human consumption by the Competent Authority of the exporting country;
· there are fair trade practices;
· there is a constant supply of fish on the market;
· the products intended for import or export do not originate from Illegal sources;
· all importers and exporters are registered with the Ministry;
· imported fish and fish products are in line with the international requirements (WTO, Codex Alimentarius and the EU);
· any fish and fish products entering or leaving the country complies with the legislations in place.
Import of fish and fish products
For the purpose of controlling import of fish and fish product the Ministry has promulgated the “Fisheries and Marine Resources (Import of Fish and Fish Products) Regulations - 2012”. This regulation was subsequently amended in 2016 by the “Fisheries and Marine Resources (Import of Fish and Fish Products) (Amendment) Regulations 2016”. Prior to importation of any consignment of fish or fish product the importer shall:
· be registered to the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping;
· pay to the Director General MRA – Custom an annual import fee; and
· comply with the requirements and standards stipulated by the Regulations.
Fisheries and Marine resources (Import of Fish and Fish Products) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 – GN 34 of 2016
Registration of importers
For the issue of a Registration Certificate the applicant shall be holder of a valid Trade Licence, Food Handlers Certificate, Certificate of Incorporation or Business Registration card and have appropriate storage and transport facilities. To be registered the person –
· shall submit a duly filled in application form for registration; and
· provide copies of the required documents (Trade Licence, BRN, Certificate of Incorporation, Food Handlers Certificate, Transport facilities, cold storage facilities and utility bills);
The Registration Certificate is issued to the importer for a period of one calendar year (from January to end December).
Payment of annual import fee
The importer shall pay an annual import fee of Rupees 25,000 to the MRA-Customs. For the purpose of payment, the person shall produce to the MRA-Custom the registration certificate issued by this Ministry and his ID card and Tax Account Number (TAN).
Providing information on import
The importer shall provide to the Ministry such information on the consignment of fish/fish products intended for import as follows -
· Common and scientific name of fish/fish products;
· The quantity intended for import;
· The country of origin;
· Name of establishment or farm or fishing vessel exporting the fish;
· Registration and approval number of the exporting establishment;
· The competent authority in the exporting country;
· Type of products intended for import;
· Purpose of import;
· Place of storage;
· Transport and distribution;
· Retail sale; and
· FAO Fishing Area.
The importer shall seek approval of the Ministry prior to import any fish and fish products. The import authorisation is valid for a period of four months and may be subject to such terms and conditions as deemed fit.
The importer shall ensure that the consignment of fish or fish products imported into Mauritius meets all the requirements and standards stipulated in the “Import of Fish and Fish Products Regulations 2012” and the amendments thereof.
Specific import requirements
1. To import any fish species listed in Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), approval is required from the local CITES Office at Réduit. The consignment should also be accompanied by a CITES Certificate issued by the authority in the exporting country.
2. Fish intended for import shall not originate from IUU fishing.
3. Tooth fish shall be accompanied by a Dissosticus Catch Document (DCD) and Dissosticus Export Document (DED).
4. Bigeye tuna and Sword fish should be accompanied by a bigeye and swordfish export document.
5. Tuna and tuna like species shall be accompanied by a Catch Document issued by the flag state of the fishing vessel.
6. All consignments of fish or fish products should be accompanied by a Certificate of Origin.
7. All consignments of fish or fish products should be accompanied by a health certificate issued by the Competent Authority of the exporting country.
8. Toxic fish species are not authorised for import except Bourgeois fish from Seychelles intended for the hotels.
9. Shark fins should be attached to the body. The weight of shark fins should not exceed 5% of the total weight of carcass on board the fishing vessel.
10. Fish species (capitaine, butterfish and sacrechien) is subject to quota system and shall not be imported unless authorized by the Ministry.
11. Fish fillets shall be properly labelled and presented skin on.
Inspection and clearance
1. All consignments of fish and fish products shall be inspected and cleared by an authorized officer of the Ministry.
2. The importer shall inform the Import/Export Unit of the arrival of the consignment and make arrangement for inspection in the custom area.
3. The import documents should be submitted to the Import/Export Unit prior to inspection of the consignment.
4. The importer or his agent should be present at the site of inspection.
5. The consignment of fish or fish products should be checked physically to ensure compliance.
6. The consignment may be removed from the custom area only after verification and clearance from this Ministry.
7. After removal from the Customs area, the authorized officer may thoroughly check the whole consignment at the cold store/warehouse/quarantine during unloading of the fish or fish products.
Collection of Samples
1. Samples of fish or fish products may be collected at the container terminal or the cold rooms for laboratory analysis or for identification purposes.
2. The samples shall be collected by an authorized officer.
3. The samples of fish or fish products shall be sent for analysis at laboratories designated by the Ministry.
Seizure of fish or fish products
The whole lot, batch or consignment of fish may be detained or seized by an authorized officer, if the products do not comply with the “Fisheries and Marine Resources (Import of Fish and Fish Products) Regulations 2012” and the amendments thereof and the terms and conditions imposed by the Ministry.
Disposal/destruction of fish & fish products
· Any consignment of fish and fish products imported in breach of the regulations and conditions of import shall be seized by the authorized officer.
· The Permanent Secretary shall dispose of any consignment of fish or fish products, forfeited or seized in the manner he may deem fit.
· The importer of any product seized and destroyed under the regulation shall not be entitled to any compensation.
Export of fish and fish products
According to Section 25 of the Fisheries and Marine Resources Act, no person shall export from Mauritius any fish and fish product except with a permit issued by the Ministry. A permit issued under the Act may be subject to such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Permanent Secretary.
The exporter of any fish or fish product shall be holder of a valid export permit issued by the Ministry.
1. The person shall apply to the Import/Export Unit of the Ministry in writing for a permit to export fish and fish products.
2. The application in writing should provide details on the consignment intended for export.
3. The application is processed by the Import/Export Unit of the Ministry.
4. After approval, an annual export permit is issued to the exporter within 5 days.
5. The export permit is valid for a period of one year (from January to end December).
Requirements for the issue of an export authorisation
1. Any consignment of fish and fish products intended for export/re-export/transhipment should be authorized by an authorised officer of the Ministry. Upon satisfaction, the authorized officer may issue an export authorisation to the MRA-Custom to allow export of the consignment.
2. Copies of export documents should be provided at the time of verification and clearance.
3. Export authorizations are issued by authorised officers on a consignment basis.
4. Fish for personal consumption, live ornamental fish for personal aquarium, samples of fish meant for laboratory analysis and stuffed fish are authorized directly at the One Stop Shop Seafood Hub.
5. Export of live ornamental fish shall be certified by the Competent Authority Seafood and authorised by the Import/Export Unit before shipment.
6. Any consignment of fish or fish products intended for export to the European Union shall be accompanied by a Catch Certificate issued by the Competent Authority of the Flag State of the fishing Vessels.
7. The processed fish or fish products intended for export to the EU shall be accompanied by a Processing Statement issued by the Port State Control Unit of the Ministry.
1. All export/re-export/transhipment of fish or fish products shall be authorised by the Ministry before shipment of the consignment.
2. The transfer of any consignment of fish from the Container Terminal to the Freeport Area should be authorised/cleared by this Ministry.
3. Any movement of fish/fish products from the Freeport zone to the Mauritian market, foreign country or movement within the Freeport Area should also be authorised/cleared by the Ministry.
Certification of fish and fish products
1. Any consignments of fish and fish products intended for export shall be verified and certified by the Competent Authority – Seafood, based at the One Stop Shop Seafood Hub.
2. The consignment of fish or fish products shall be accompanied by a Health Certificate as per the requirement of the importing country.
3. Stuffed fish shall be accompanied by a certificate from the Division of Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security.
Officer in Charge Import/Export Unit,
Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping
1st Floor, Trade and Marketing Centre,
Freeport Zone, Mer Rouge,
REPUBLIC OF MAURITIUS
Phone: +(230) 206 2820 / 206 2826 and Fax: +(230) 206-2672
Email address: - email@example.com