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NZ suspends Fiji's long bean

October 22, 2015 10:03 pm

The Fijian Government says the suspension of long bean imports by the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (NZMPIs) is unwarranted and is not in line with international trading standards.

In a statement last night, government says NZMPI failed to notify Bio-security Authority Fiji (BAF) of the intercept of live insect pest – Thrips palmi – at the time of discovery in export consignments from Fiji in August, September and October – breaching the International Standards on Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM).

It says NZMPI also failed to send preliminary notification of the interceptions as required under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) International Plant Protection Convention Standards (IPPC).

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The statement says BAF conducts 100 per cent inspections on all export commodities and eliminates all live adult Thrips palmi – which are visible to the naked eye or through hand lens.

The Thrips Palmi insect pest cannot be identified in the egg, larvae or pupa stage.

Government says BAF cannot be held responsible for eggs or larvae that hatch and grow into adults during the shipment of consignments.

It says this unjustified suspension by New Zealand will have a significant impact on exporters, farmers and trade between Fiji and New Zealand.

To resolve this, BAF has requested that NZMPI submit further information regarding the interception, including the pest identification report, preserved samples and other related information for BAF to conduct its internal investigation.

BAF has also agreed to conduct an audit on the long bean export pathway, proposing that the audit be conducted by a NZMPI Chief Technical Officer and BAF Chief Plant Protection Officer, Entomologists and Plant Pathologists.

The total quantity of long bean exported from Fiji to New Zealand from 2013 to October 2015 is over 137,000 kg.

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