To avoid delay in the clearance of imported plants, plant products and cut flowers, importers have several responsibilities to assume. Failure to assume any of these may result in the confiscation of or deterioration in the quality of the consignment.
These responsibilities are:
- All importers are required to obtain from the Department of Agriculture, before placing overseas orders, a permit to import the intended consignment. A small fee of 5 EC dollars OR 2 US dollars is charged for this permit.
- The order to be placed overseas should be taken to the Department of Agriculture where if accepted, it is stamped and signed by the officer. The importer is requested to provide a duplicate copy of the order for the Department’s records. Note that a permit will not be issued without a copy of the order.
- The stamped order and the permit should then be taken to the Department of Trade where it is presented to the director of trade or his nominee when a license to import the produce is applied for. The Department of Trade will make available a copy of the stamped order to customs.
- A phytosanitary certificate must be presented when the consignment arrives in Nevis.
- The invoice of the shipment must be presented to Customs where the necessary checks will be made to ascertain conformation to stamped order.
- The Department of Agriculture must be notified of the time of arrival of the consignment.
- An officer of the Department of Agriculture must inspect the consignment on arrival and recommend to Customs its release if it conforms to quarantine requirements.
It is an offence to tamper with an import certificate issued by the Department of Agriculture. No member of the public should write anything additional on the certificate after it has been issued.
WHAT THE FOREIGN SHIPPER MUST BE TOLD
The importer must inform the foreign shippers of the following quarantine requirements:
- The consignment must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate.
- The consignment must be free from soil, pests and disease symptoms.
- When plants are to be imported, in addition to the above requirements; the containers must be fumigated when packing is completed.