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NZ lifts temporary ban on Fiji exports


Aug 13, 2015 08:17:49 PM

NZ lifts temporary ban on Fiji exports The New Zealand Government has lifted the temporary suspension placed on some Fijian agricultural exports following discussions and meetings with Fijian authorities.

The temporary suspension affected four agricultural produce namely eggplants, breadfruit, mangoes and papaya.

Attorney General and Minister of Public Enterprises Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum welcomed the decision and said Fiji has always taken the issue very seriously and Government will continue to ensure that the treatment of local products meet the requirements of trading partners. 

“We are happy to report that the temporary suspension of Fiji’s agricultural exports has been lifted relatively quickly. The suspension never should have been in place to begin with.”

In its announcement that the suspension had been lifted, New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries thanked the Biosecurity Authority (BAF) of Fiji for providing them with the necessary information to satisfy New Zealand’s import requirements, including a comprehensive dossier on updated systems and procedures that will be used to ensure that Fiji’s exports meet New Zealand’s import health standards. 

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said BAF will continue its ongoing campaign to educate relevant stakeholders on the importance of meeting standard operating procedures for heat-treated agricultural products and a training session will be conducted for farmers, exporters, quality controllers and operators in Nadi tomorrow.

He said it was important for individual exporters to meet Fiji’s trading partner’s standards so as not to jeopardize all exports of Fijian products.

“Adhering to standard operating procedures protects Fiji’s long term relationship with trading partners. These relationships are crucial for the Fijian Government as they directly impact the well-being of Fijian farmers and exporters,” he added.

The Ministry of Primary Industries of New Zealand rejected a shipment of eggplant due to an anomaly in the operational measures taken in Fiji under the Bilateral Quarantine Agreement, and its subsequent suspension of shipments of four agricultural products last week.

Sayed-Khaiyum earlier stated that the actions taken by New Zealand to suspend eggplant, mango, breadfruit and papaya imports are unjustified in light of Fiji’s strong commitment to biosecurity and unblemished record in exporting safe agricultural products throughout the region for many years.

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Biosecurity Authority officials met with a senior NZ MPI official from Wellington in Nadi yesterday to facilitate discussions.

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Trade and Public Enterprises, Shaheen Ali confirmed that the consignment of export has not been returned to Fiji and exports of the affected commodities will continue as normal.

By Reginald Chandar

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