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BSI Warns: Imports & Selling Of Planting Seeds Without “Import Permit” Is Illegal


Biosecurity Solomon Islands (BSI) of the Ministry of
Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) has cautioned companies and
individuals that it is illegal to import planting seeds and
sell it in the country without obtaining an ‘import
permit’ from the BSI.

The warning came following a
successful joint operation carried out in Honiara on Monday
25th January 2021 between BSI officers and the Royal Solomon
Islands Police Force (RSIPF) officers on shops that breached
the BSI Act 2013 with the importation and selling of
planting seeds without BSI authorized import
permit.

Eight (8) Chinese owned shops from Point Cruz,
Central Market, China Town and Kukum area were caught to
have unlawfully smuggling and selling planting seeds without
an import permit at the time of the operation.

“All
items found in the shops during the operation were
confiscated and brought to BSI office for further
verifications before destroying,” Samuel Hone of the BSI
Compliance & Auditing said.

“During our search
and interview with shop owners it is evident that they have
breach the Biosecurity Act 2013 because they do not
possessed or displayed any permit to import plants and plant
product into Solomon Islands.

“Even planting seed
packets are written with foreign languages that Solomon
Islanders cannot read which are not recommended by the
International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) standard
for selling to the public. No permit to import plants and
plants product obtain from Biosecurity office, MAL. No
proper label to identify plant botanical names, no numbering
or coding of packets and accompanying list is provided to
link their botanical names.

“Labelling on the seed
packets are different from what is actually inside the
packets.

“Seed packet labelling are not from the
approved sources of Biosecurity Solomon Islands and there is
no specific expiry date on the packets,” Mr. Hone
explained.

“The 8 shop owners have been advised to
pay a non-compliance penalty fee of $5,000 each, failure to
do so within 14 days means facing prosecution,” he
added.

BSI confirmed that five (5) shop owners have
already turned up and paid their fines while the remaining 3
are retailers only.

Francis Tsatsia Director of BSI
thanked RSIPF for supporting his officers during the joint
operation and looks forward to similar future
collaborations.

Mr.Tsatsia said the raid is very
important and the support of the Police to ensure this is
supported and implemented under the law is
critical.

“Biosecurity must ensure what is regulated
under the Act in terms of goods imported and exported must
be adhere to at all times. There is a procedure established
under the Biosecurity Act on how to import seeds for
planting in this particular case. Seed for planting is a
regulated good which means it has some elements of risk
associated with if imported without Biosecurity risk
analysis processes. Other pests and diseases that are seed
born can be transmitted through seed and can spread to
Solomon Islands if Biosecurity process is not
follow.”

He added the risk is real and in most cases
cannot be detected by eye sight.

“Not all countries
can supply seeds for planting to Solomon Islands. Only those
that meet Solomon Islands import condition can supply seeds
for planting into Solomon Islands. Biosecurity has a list of
approved companies where seed can be imported from,” he
said.

He further said that it is important to note
that anyone either companies and individual who are
interested to import any seed for planting from overseas
must consult Biosecurity office to get update information on
how to import and to ensure your source or the supplier is
approved under Biosecurity law.

“It is a requirement
by law that you must have an import permit issue by
Biosecurity Solomon Islands first before you bring in seeds
for planting into Solomon Islands.

“There is a
penalty by fine and imprisonment if companies or individuals
found breaching any of this very important requirement. This
is important to ensure we do not bring in any pests and
diseases into Solomon Islands.”

Below is data of
items confiscated from each of the eight
shops.

Data of items confiscated during the
Operation

Shops  Comment 
Wei
kei shop 
46 pkts vegetable
seeds
New World shop

4 canned
tin vegetable seeds

89 pkts vegetable
seeds

LYE shop  40 pkts
vegetable seeds 
HY
shop 
47 pkts vegetable
seeds 
MZ shop

14 canned
tin vegetable seed

90 pkts vegetable
seeds

A-plus shop  189
pkts vegetable seeds
Lucky
shop 
91 pkts vegetable
seeds 
UNIQUE Shop

107 pkts
vegetable seeds

1 canned tin vegetable
seeds

© Scoop Media

 



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