ECONOMIC environment, infrastructure constraints and the ability to comply with health and sanitation requirements were some factors that prevented Pacific Island states from exporting fish products to the EU.
This was revealed by the head of the EU delegation to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, during the Pacific African Caribbean meeting in Nadi.
"The potential development impact for global sourcing of fresh and frozen fish for the smaller islands still remains questionable," Mr Jacobs said.
"A report commissioned by the EU clearly shows that global sourcing is only one factor among many to determine the ability of the Pacific Islands to export fish products to the EU.
"Economic environment, infrastructure constraints, the ability to comply with health and sanitation requirements and respect the EU legislation on illegal, unregulated and unreported or IUU fishing are all very important and, in some places, imply significant capacity and governance building to cope with requests from the private sector. Sanitary and phytosanitary and IUU in particular would require the establishment of a national, competent authority for each island."
He said while global sourcing for processed and preserved fish was included in the interim EPA — and implemented in PNG — it had also led to considerable controversy during the ratification process of the interim EPA in the EU parliament.
"It is certain that the EU parliament would accept or even extend a clause in the comprehensive EPA."