"You cannot use chemical pesticides on products and hope to sell them in USA. That is the same for processing and packaging. The must meet standards", says Kossi Orphee Togbetse, Director of Togo Trade Hub & Standard Corp.
Orphee is specialized in the purchase and the resale of agri-food products in USA and Canada and also expert in quality control and standards in this market. In this exclusive interview, he unveils the whole export procedure on American market.
Affectively called Mr. AGOA, Orphee argues that all local Togolese products, except soy are accepted by Americans.
If all these conditions are met, the export preparation must also respond to some procedures both in Togo and in the United States.
You must have a sanitary and phytosanitary certificate from ITRA and know the chemical and organoleptic composition of your product with the National Institute of Hygiene.
Then, make a packing list, find out what a commercial invoice is when the product is to be sent to a customer, have a transit agent who can do the declaration preparation.
When you want to send a commodity to the US, there is what we call FDA certification; it is the supreme body that controls everything coming into the US. It checks the products to see whether they are good for consumption to deliberate on them.
But, first, have FDA registration to get FDA number and now apply for your products’ entry to the US.
After the application, they send you a document called Prior Notice. It states that you have FDA clearance to export to the US so that when the product arrives, it can easily be cleared.
Finally, you must inform Togolese government of your export to obtain the export certificate.
When the products arrive, you must have a representative there. You must also inform about the purpose of the product (it is for sell or family purpose). That is the IFS. It provides information on the HS code of each product.
People need to have all this information. That's what Togo Trade Hub is trying to give as information to all those who are candidates for export to the USA.
Faced with a growing demand and a very demanding market in terms of quality and especially packaging, Mr. AGOA thinks that a commercial platform dedicated solely to Togolese products in America would be very beneficial for Togolese economy.