Introduction. This paper elaborates on three sections of the Biosecurity Promulgation 2008 namely the:

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1 Introduction Biosecurity Promulgation 2008 is an act that has adopted strategic and integrated approach which prevents the entry of animal and plant pests and diseases into the Fiji Islands, controls their establishment and spread in the Fiji Islands, regulates the movement of animal and plant pests and diseases and of animals and plants and their products, facilitates international cooperation in respect of animal and plant diseases and for related matters. The Act encompasses policy and regulatory frameworks (including instruments and activities) for analysing and managing relevant pest and disease risks to human, animal and plant life and health, and associated risks to the environment. Additionally, aspects of food safety and prevention of zoonosis, the introduction of animal and plant diseases and pests, the safe introduction and release of living modified organisms (LMOs) and their products (e.g. genetically modified organisms or GMOs), and the introduction and management of invasive alien species are also comprehended. Biosecurity Authority of the Fiji Islands The fundamental objective of the Biosecurity Promulgation 2008 is to control pest and diseases by legal and administrative means. In order to avoid adverse effects from such pests and diseases on the economy, environment and health of the Fiji Islands, the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) was established under the Biosecurity Promulgation in December Biosecurity Authority of Fiji is mandated to protect Fiji s agricultural sector from the introduction and spread of animal and plant pests and diseases, facilitate access to viable agro-export markets and ensure compliance of Fiji s agro-exports to overseas market requirements. Additionally, manages quarantine controls at borders to minimise the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering the country. It also provides import and export inspection and certification to help retain Fiji s favourable animal, plant and human health status and wide access to overseas export markets. The Biosecurity Promulgation 2008 furthermore, defines biosecurity import and export procedures, defines powers of Biosecurity Officers, empowers the Minister to make Regulations and to declare regulated pests and diseases, provides biosecurity controls on one or more areas of Fiji, defines offences and prescribes penalties for such offences and provides with respect to biosecurity emergencies. This paper elaborates on three sections of the Biosecurity Promulgation 2008 namely the: Part 5 Biosecurity Import Procedures Part 6 Biosecurity Export Procedures Part 7 Biosecurity Quarantine

2 Part 5 Biosecurity Import Procedures 31(1) - Inspection of Incoming goods or consignment In accordance to section 31, every incoming article (goods) or consignment of articles are required for biosecurity entry inspection by a biosecurity Officer at the biosecurity point of entry to determine whether it includes regulated goods. According to Biosecurity Authority of Fiji following goods (regulated article) are (a) Permitted without an Import Permit Canned vegetables (cabbages, carrots, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn etc) Canned fruits (mango, peaches, plums, mixed fruits cherries etc) Potato chips Cakes (muffins, puddings, Christmas cakes etc) Biscuits Tortilla wraps Cooking oils (virgin, olive, vegetables etc) Peanut butter Tomato sauce Salt Sugar Tea leaf (processed in packets) Cooked root crops (yams, taro, cassava, breadfruit) (b) Permitted with an Import Permit Kava Roses, fruits, vegetables and rice (< 20kg) from New Zealand (c) Prohibited Entry Fresh fruits (papaya, banana, breadfruit, oranges, plantain etc) Fresh vegetables (tomato, cabbages, carrots. Eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn etc) Coconut (any part thereof) Seeds Live plants (tissue culture, pot plants, fruit trees etc) Soil (used camping gear, boots, digging equipment etc) including sand, clay, earth. Weed seeds 31(2) Biosecurity Entry Inspections It is considered an offence, if any importer of goods fails to make the goods available for a biosecurity entry inspection at the biosecurity point of entry at the request of a biosecurity officer. The goods may be reconsigned or destroyed whereby biosecurity entry clearance had been refused. 31(3) Release of Non-Regulated Article A biosecurity officer inspects the incoming article or consignment to ensure a regulated article or consignment is imported. Upon approval of the Biosecurity Officer, the consignment with non-regulated article may be released from the biosecurity point of entry after payment of the any prescribed fee.

3 32(1). Biosecurity import clearance of regulated articles Biosecurity import clearance is required for every incoming regulated article or consignment. The regulated article or consignment shall be taken to or retained in a biosecurity holding area for inspection. The biosecurity import clearance is issued after inspection by a Biosecurity Officer. 32(2) Biosecurity Import Clearance Requirements Following information and documentations are required for import clearance of a regulated article or consignment; (a) An application for biosecurity import clearance to be made to a biosecurity officer in a manner approved by the Authority (b) Be accompanied by the prescribed fee, if any; (c) State the country of origin of the article or consignment; (d) State the nature and quantity of the article or consignment; (e) Attach any sanitary or phytosanitary certificate issued by the country of origin in relation to the article or consignment; (f) Attach any biosecurity import permit relating to the document; (g) Attach documentation relating to any other biosecurity measures specified under section 34(1) in relation to the article or consignment. 32(3) Inspection of a Regulated Article or Consignment The importer of a regulated article or consignment must on the request of the Biosecurity Officer a) Open the container of the article or consignment to allow the Biosecurity Officer to inspect in accordance to section 57. b) Allow the officer to take samples and conduct tests in accordance with Part 8 to enable the officer to determine whether biosecurity import clearance should be granted. c) If the article or consignment requires biosecurity measures to be applied, the article or consignment shall be submitted to such measures. d) Occurred cost of taking and keeping an article to biosecurity holding area shall be borne by the importer of the article. The retained article or consignment may not be entitled for compensation in cases of any loss or destruction caused during taking or keeping an article unless loss was resulted by negligence or malic is proved. The importer of a regulated article or consignment will commit an offence if fails to comply with the requirements of subsection 3 of section 32. The Biosecurity Officer may not grant import clearance for the article or consignment, and may order the article or consignment to be reconsigned or destroyed. 33 Grant and Refusal of Biosecurity Import Clearance All biosecurity import clearance requirements as stated in the subsection 2 of section 32 shall be met and the Biosecurity Officer must be satisfied before biosecurity import clearance is granted. If the incoming regulated article or consignment showed biosecurity risk, the Biosecurity Officer may refuse to grant biosecurity import clearance and may require additional biosecurity measures to be applied although the article or consignment may meet the biosecurity import specifications. Biosecurity import clearance may be made conditional on the article performing biosecurity quarantine if (a) Quarantine is a biosecurity import requirement for the article; or

4 (b) During biosecurity entry inspection or biosecurity import clearance inspection the article is found to be, or is suspected to be, infested, infected or contaminated. All incoming article which is prohibited for importation biosecurity import clearance will be refuse. After the refusal of biosecurity import clearance for an article or consignment, the importer is given reasonable time to make arrangement for the reconsignment of the article before it is destroyed. 34. Biosecurity Import Specifications. According to subsection 1 of section 34, import specification for the incoming regulated article is specified by the Authority. The import specifications may specify (a) Whether a sanitary or phytosanitary certificate from the biosecurity authority in the country of origin is required for an article and if so the matters that must be certified; (b) Whether a biosecurity import permit must be obtained for the article and if so the conditions to be attached to the permit; (c) What biosecurity measures, if any, must be applied to the article on arrival in the Fiji Islands before biosecurity import Clearance can be granted. (2) Specifications under subsection (1) of section 34 (a) May be different for different types and quantities of regulated article; (b) May be by reference to the country or area of origin of the article; (c) Must only be those reasonably necessary to reduce or eliminate the biosecurity risk to the Fiji Islands presented by the article. (3) In determining specifications under subsection (1), the Authority (a) Must make a biosecurity risk assessment; (b) Must have regard to the requirements of the SPS Agreement and other international standards relating to biosecurity matters; (c) Must have regard to the resources available for biosecurity control; (d) May apply the precautionary principle. Any changes in an import specification in respect of an article shall be given to intending importers as soon as practicable but no liability arises from failure to do so. Biosecurity import specification is published in the biosecurity register at the office of the Authority and made available to the public for inspection or purchase. 35. Biosecurity Access Arrangement 35. (1) A person proposing to import a regulated article of a type that is not the subject of a biosecurity import specification must apply in writing to the Authority for a specification under section 34 in respect of the article. An application under subsection (1) in respect of an article must be made in sufficient time before the intended importation and adequate information about the biosecurity procedures of the country of origin, the nature of the article and the proposed importation, shall be given to enable the authority to make a biosecurity risk assessment. Upon receipt of an application under subsection (1), and on payment of the prescribed fee, if any, the authority will as soon as practicable, unless the article is or becomes a prohibited import under section 17, make a specification in respect of it in accordance with section 34.

5 36. Application for a biosecurity import permit A biosecurity import permit is required under section 34(1) in respect of a regulated article or consignment, an application for a permit must (a) Be made before the article or consignment leaves the country of origin or, in the case of re-exported goods, the reexporting country. (b) Be made to the Authority in the manner specified or approved by the Authority; and be accompanied by the prescribed fee, if any. (2) An application for a biosecurity import permit must (a) Include evidence of the country of origin of the regulated article or consignment; (b) State the nature and amount of the article or consignment; (c) State the expected date of arrival in the Fiji Islands; and (d) Give any other information the Authority reasonably requires to enable the Authority to make a biosecurity risk assessment. The Authority will ensure a decision on an application for a biosecurity import permit is communicated to the applicant as soon as reasonably after the application is received. If the decision is to refuse the permit, the applicant will be notified in writing with brief reasons. 37. Issue of a biosecurity import permit After meeting the requirements from 36(1) and (2) and payment of any prescribed fee, the Authority or Biosecurity Officer will issue the import permit. A biosecurity import permit may (a) Be general or specific; (b) Relate to a single article or to a consignment of articles; (c) be different for different types of regulated article and relate to different countries of origin. A general permit relate to all imports of a specified in a permit or from an area specified in the permit, and may relate to continuing imports over a period specified in the permit. A specific permit will relate to a single article or consignment and may specify an expiry date. 38. Revocation of a biosecurity import permit If there is a change in the biosecurity risk to the Fiji Islands through the article or consignment, the biosecurity import permit can be revoked or vary the condition of the permit by the Authority at any time through the written notice to the holder. The revoked biosecurity import permit refuses the biosecurity import clearance for an article or consignment. Upon revocation of the biosecurity import permit, the holder of the permit must surrender it to a biosecurity officer as soon as practical. Any permit holder under subsection 3 of section 38 contravenes hence, commits an offence.

6 39. Exemption from biosecurity import requirements Any regulated article, class of regulated articles or consignment of regulated article may be exempted by the Authority in writing from any or all of the biosecurity import specifications and from requirements of a biosecurity import permit. The exemption under subsection 1 of section 39 is applied to a single importation. The exemption shall specify the conditions on which the article, class of articles or consignment is exempted. If the conditions are not met the exemption ceases to apply. The Authority can only grant an exemption under subsection (1) upon receipt of advice from its technical section heads, and if satisfied that the biosecurity risk to the Fiji Islands is not increased as a result. A request for exemption under section 39 must be (a) Made in writing to the Authority; (b) Accompanied by the prescribed fee, if any, and the specified documents; (c) Made in sufficient time to allow the Authority to give due consideration to the request. Exempted articles from the biosecurity import specification or the requirement for an import permit are not exempted from the requirement for the biosecurity import clearance. Part 6 Biosecurity Export Procedures 41. Biosecurity export inspection of outgoing articles Every outgoing regulated article or consignment of regulated articles is liable to biosecurity export inspection at the biosecurity point of departure to enable a biosecurity officer to determine whether it includes an article that requires biosecurity export clearance. It will be considered an offence if an exporter of goods fails to make the goods available for biosecurity export inspection at the biosecurity point of departure at the request of a biosecurity officer. A biosecurity officer may only request to inspect an outgoing article or consignment if the officer has reasonable cause to suspect that it is or includes a regulated article that requires biosecurity export clearance. The article or consignment may be released from the biosecurity point of departure upon payment of any applied fee. 42. Requirement for Biosecurity Clearance Any article which are exported and the receiving country requires a sanitary or phytosanitary certificate and biosecurity measures to be applied before being exported must have biosecurity export clearance for export to that country. It is considered an offence if a person exports or attempts to export an article or consignment that required export clearance. 43. Issue of sanitary and phytosanitary certificates An exporter who requires a sanitary or phytosanitary certificate or a certificate of origin in respect of an article in order to comply with the biosecurity certification requirements of the receiving country must (a) Apply to the Authority in writing and pay the prescribed fee, if any; (c) Submit the article for inspection or other biosecurity measures as required by the receiving country.

7 Upon receipting of an application under subsection 1 of section 43, the Authority will: (a) Ascertain the biosecurity certification requirements of the receiving country, through the applicant or directly from the country; (b) Perform appropriate inspection and apply appropriate biosecurity measures to the article as required by the receiving country; (c) If satisfied that the biosecurity certification requirements of the receiving country have been met, issue the appropriate certificate upon payment of the prescribed fee. 44. Biosecurity Export Specifications The Authority may specify export specification for outgoing animals or plants, or their products and biosecurity measures in addition to biosecurity certification requirements of the receiving country requires before export. Export specification are only made if required by an international agreement to which the Fiji Islands and the receiving country are party in respect of the movement of animals, plants or animal or plant products, and must conform to any such agreement. An export specification may change in respect of an animal or animal product at any time before biosecurity export clearance is granted or if there is a change in the relevant international obligations relating to the animal or animal product. Before any changes are done to the specification, the Authority seeks advice from the of its technical section heads. Revised specifications are published in the biosecurity register found at the office of the Authority and are made available to the public for inspection or purchase. 45. Application for biosecurity export clearance An application for biosecurity export clearance of an article or consignment must be made to a biosecurity officer in the manner specified or approved by the Authority and be accompanied by any prescribed fee. An application for biosecurity export clearance for a regulated article or consignment must be made before the regulated article or consignment arrives at a biosecurity point of departure. Sufficient time shall be allowed for the processing of the application. An application for biosecurity export clearance for an article or consignment must (a) Specify the receiving country; (b) Specify the nature and quantity of the article or consignment; (c) Attach any sanitary or phytosanitary certificate issued under section 43(2) in relation to the article or consignment; (d) Attach documentation relating to any other biosecurity measures required under section 44(1) in relation to animals or plants or animal or plant products. The exporter must submit the article or consignment for biosecurity measures if it is required by the receiving country. Biosecurity export clearance will not be granted if biosecurity measures are not applied to the concerned articles or consignment. If an exporter fails to comply with any of the requirements of section 45, a biosecurity officer may refuse to grant biosecurity export clearance for the article or consignment.

8 46. Grant of biosecurity export clearance Before granting the biosecurity export clearance in respect of an article or consignment, a biosecurity officer will ensure: (a) That the biosecurity certification requirements of the receiving country have been complied with; (b) That any biosecurity measures specified under section 44(1) in respect of an animal or animal products have been applied; (c) That the prescribed fee, if any, has been paid. A biosecurity officer may refuse to grant biosecurity clearance if an outgoing article is found to be infected, infested or contaminated by a regulated pest or disease. The Authority will ensure a decision on an application for biosecurity export clearance is communicated to the applicant as soon as reasonably practicable after the application is received duly completed. The applicant will be notified in writing with brief reasons, if the export clearance is refused. Part 7 Biosecurity Quarantine 47. Biosecurity quarantine of regulated articles A biosecurity officer by notice in writing can order an exporter to direct their incoming regulated article in the biosecurity quarantine if: (a) The article is a prohibited import and must therefore be reconsigned or destroyed; (b) Quarantine is a biosecurity import requirement for the article; or (c) During biosecurity entry inspection or biosecurity import clearance inspection the article is found to be, or is suspected to be, infested, infected or contaminated. A biosecurity officer will direct the importer to remove the article to a specified biosecurity quarantine station, if an article is ordered into biosecurity quarantine. It is considered an offence if the importer refuses to remove an article to the biosecurity quarantine. The cost of removal of an article to biosecurity quarantine and any loss or destruction caused as result of removal will be borne by the importer of the article unless negligence or malice is proved. The importer is given written notice stating the reasons an article is quarantined and the location of the article if removed under subsection (2) (b). 48. Biosecurity quarantine stations Upon advice of the Authority and after consultation with other relevant Ministries, The Minister may designate any public or private land as a biosecurity quarantine station for animals, animal products, plants, plant products, conveyances, containers or other goods for the purposes of this Promulgation. The owner of the land is consulted and agreed compensation is paid before any designating private land is used as a biosecurity quarantine station.

9 The Authority will ensure that every biosecurity quarantine station is provided with such buildings and facilities as are reasonably needed (a) To hold regulated articles in biosecurity quarantine; (b) To prevent unauthorized persons from entering the station or removing items from the station; (c) To enable the Authority to perform tests, provide treatment and apply other biosecurity measures as required by or under this Promulgation. 49. Conditions of a biosecurity quarantine The Authority will issue specification on the type of examination, treatment, disposal or destruction of articles are required while in a biosecurity quarantine station or transit to or from a quarantine station. The specification will also determine the period for which different types of regulated articles must remain in a biosecurity quarantine station. The cost of keeping an article in biosecurity quarantine is to be borne by the importer of the article. The Authority will prescribe the fees or charges for keeping article in biosecurity quarantine. 50. Management of biosecurity quarantine stations. The biosecurity quarantine station or any building in the ownership of the station are locked; sealed and movement are restricted by the biosecurity officer inorder to avoid biosecurity potential threats. A biosecurity officer who is acting in the course of the duty or the person in charge of the station may enter the biosecurity quarantine station without the written permission of the Authority. I will be considered an offense if a person enters a biosecurity quarantine station without permission and damages interferes or reduces the effectiveness of measures taken to secure a biosecurity quarantine station or quarantined regulated article. 51. Release from biosecurity quarantine A conveyance, container or article is only released from the biosecurity quarantine after issuing of a biosecurity quarantine release certificate by a biosecurity officer. Before a conveyance, container or article is released from the biosecurity quarantine it will be treated for any required condition of importation. Hence, all quarantine fees must be paid by the importer of the article. Once the quarantine release certificate requirements are met, the conveyance, container or article is release as soon as practical with issued biosecurity release certificate. 52. Biosecurity Quarantine Notices. A biosecurity officer may affix a notice on any biosecurity quarantine station, and on any conveyance, container or article held in biosecurity quarantine, stating the conditions and duration of quarantine and other information relating to the station or the item as specified by the Authority. An offense will be committed if a person may remove a notice affixed without lawful authority.

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