Fishing vessels under spotlight by FRCS
October 20, 2017 3:09 am
Fiji Revenue and Customs Service Maritime Compliance team searched two foreign fishing vessels at the Suva wharf last week and seized undeclared goods that included live dogs, cigarettes, liquor and R22 cylinders which is an ozone depleting substance.
Chief Executive, Visvanath Das says these fishing vessels were profiled as high risk by their officers and upon arrival searched for smuggled items.
Das says the assessment by their officers was proven correct as undeclared items and nine dogs were found on the vessel.
He says that they notified Biosecurity Authority of Fiji regarding the undeclared dogs and handed over the R22 cylinders to the department of environment while other undeclared items have been detained by customs.
Das adds that it is vital for vessel agents to provide proper documentation which clearly outlines and states all relevant items on the vessel before it arrives into the country. Failure to declare any such items may result in stringent enforcement action.
He mentioned that it is an offence not to declare items carried in the vessel.
Meanwhile, BAF has ensured that the dogs are now securely bonded on-board the fishing vessels and is monitoring them on a daily basis.
The fishing vessels have been fined for not declaring the dogs.