Seychelles to keep strict control of plant and animal imports


08-June-2009

This was stressed by principal veterinary officer Dr Jimmy Melanie and agriculture officer Randy Stravens of the Seychelles Agricultural Agency.

They were speaking about the position of the Seychelles authorities regarding new procedures for imports that feature in the recently published Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) Code 2002.

Dr Melanie said anybody importing animals or any animal-based product has to abide by the Animal (Disease and Imports) Act 1981, which stipulates all the documents that are needed.

The most important of these documents is the veterinary certificate, which is aimed at preventing diseases that can be transmitted to other animals and even to people.

Dr Melanie added that even though the Act dates from several years ago, it is still very powerful and means that before anyone imports any animal, the terms and conditions for imports are sent to the exporting country.

Mr Stravens said phytosanitary (plant health) control is enforced using the Plant Protection Act 1996, which is now being reviewed.

The Plant Protection Services section is responsible for taking all measures related to plant health, and its main task is to prevent exotic pests, plant pests and diseases from being introduced.

He explained that the section operates on two main levels – the pest and disease control service, which gives technical support and consultancy to farmers as well as to the public, and phytosanitary and quality control, which prevents the entry of pests and diseases into the country.

The section is responsible for easing international trade in plants while preventing the introduction of pests so as to preserve our plant resources.

Mr Stravens added that a plant import permit is issued for a fee, and there is also a fee for a phytosanitary certificate, which is provided by the Plant Protection Services before import or export.

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