Tunisia - Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards

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After the fall of Ben Ali‟s regime in January 2011, Tunisia has been engaged in a progressive reform and democratization process. On October 23, Tunisians participated in the first fair and democratic elections in their history and elected the 217 members of the Constitutional Assembly whose major task will be to draft a new Constitution. Today, Tunisia economy is in a recovery phase and the general environment for investment and foreign cooperation is showing some positive signs.
Tunisian food legislations are currently incorporated in several general laws intended to organize the food sector and to protect consumer (law # 92-117, 1992). Quarantine and phytosanitary requirements applying to unprocessed agricultural products of plant origin as well as sanitary control of live animals and food products from animal origin are defined by laws # 92-72 and # 99-24, respectively. Food distribution and marketing are structured by the law # 94-86 dated July 23, 1994 which organized market and retail services. Finally, law # 99-42 establishes the procedures for seeds production, propagation, import, marketing and protection of the rights relating thereto. These laws are implemented through a set of food regulations referred to as decrees or „Arrêtés‟. Food controls activities are coordinated by the National Agency of the Sanitary and Environmental Control of Products (ANCSEP) created in 1999. The ANCSEP also ensures the observance of national and international standards in matters of sanitary and environmental food controls.

Youssef Chahed