The role of the Plant Quarantine Unit is to prevent the introduction of destructive plant pests, soil and diseases of plants from other countries. All plants or plant parts (including seed) are subject to plant quarantine.
“Plants” means all species and types of plants, either living or dead; and includes stems, branches, tubers, bulbs, corms, stocks, bud wood, cuttings, slips, layers, suckers, roots, leaves, flowers, seeds and seedlings.
“Plant pest” means any form of plant or animal life or any pathogenic agent injurious or potentially injurious to plants or plant products.
“Plant product” means any- (a) natural material of plant origin; and (b) manufactured products which, by their nature or that of their processing, may create a risk for the spread of plant pests.
“Plant disease” any problem with a plant that causes a reduction in yield or appearance.
“Soil” means any medium in which plants can grow or be propagated or which is likely to harbour any plant pests.
The Plant Quarantine Unit provides the first line of defence in pest surveillance that is, preventing the entry of pest into Nevis. It protects Nevis’ borders from the invasion of pests and diseases by the issuing of import permits, inspection of import/export cargo at ports of entry, seizures of import/export cargo and the execution of post-entry inspections.
Imports found to contravene the Plant Protection Act 13 of 1975 are seized and destroyed.
Exports are inspected and certified (in accordance with the requisite conditions of entry stated on the import permit) in an effort to prevent the spread of plant pests. Import permits (outlining the conditions to be met) are granted on a case-by-case basis.
This unit is also involved in the surveillance for early detection of any plant pests or disease that may have entered the island illegally.