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Fiji-NZ to meet over exports ban

August 10, 2015 7:12 pm

The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) New Zealand has acknowledged to Fijian authorities that its broad suspension of agricultural imports from Fiji is inappropriate and out of step with the Bilateral Quarantine Agreement (BQA) and international standards, and has asked to meet with Fijian officials to resolve the issue.

In a letter to the MPI, the Fijian government had objected to the suspension of trade of the four affected commodities: eggplants, breadfruit, mangoes and papaya.

In response, the New Zealand MPI has agreed that there have been no documented cases of a fruit fly outbreak caused by Fijian products.

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Additionally, the Chief Technical Officer at the Ministry of Primary Industries, Dr. Stephen Butcher, has requested a meeting with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji.

The request was relayed to the Fijian Government by the New Zealand High Commission.

Public Enterprises Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the meeting will be held in the country this week, and Fiji will make a formal request for the suspension to be lifted.

The New Zealand authorities have asked the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) to undertake an audit of the Nature’s Way Cooperatives high-temperature forced-air (HTFA) facility and pathway certification to meet all requirements under the BQA.

New Zealand has raised concerns with regards to the lack of repair and maintenance of the HTFA facility.

Five consignments were accepted by the New Zealand MPI on 5 August 2015, despite the suspension coming into effect on 2 August 2015.

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