Refrain From Purchasing Seeds Online

31/12/2019 12:53

The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) in collaboration with the Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF) is urging members of the public to exercise caution when shopping online and refrain from purchasing regulated items.

The call comes in light of increased number of interceptions with seed parcels being made at Fiji’s international mail receiving centres.It is to be noted that seeds of all kinds are biosecurity regulated articles and currently not allowed to be imported through online buying or postal services.

While BAF is closely monitoring all entry points through which items procured online are brought into the country, the consistent purchasing and illegal import of seeds from variable unsubstantiated internet sources remains one of the biggest threats to Fiji’s agriculture and horticulture industries as well as the environment.

Over the past several months, there has been a stark increase in seed interception which are purchased from online sites and imported into Fiji through parcel post.

BAF is mandated to protect Fiji from the introduction and spread of plant and animal pests and diseases.

Additionally, BAF manages quarantine controls at our borders and also provides import and export inspection and certification services to help retain Fiji’s favourable animal, plant and human health status.

All of the above can be seriously jeopardized if disease causing microorganisms (that is, pathogens such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, phytoplasmas, etc.) come into Fiji on/in seeds from unknown sources and devastate our crops – fruits and vegetables.It is a known fact that e-commerce is here to stay, however, BAF would like to urge members of the public to seek proper guidance prior to ordering/purchasing any plant, animal and their products online.

BAF officers will assist on the procedures and requirements for importation of these commodities into Fiji. In the event people fail to comply, they may be subject to further action which BAF may deem appropriate.Further, the Consumer Council of Fiji advises consumers to exercise their responsibility to be aware of the effect of their consumption on the environment.

The illegal import of seeds could have catastrophic effects on the environment. Therefore, consumers must make all efforts to follow the law when seeking to import seeds.

While the online marketplace has given consumers increased access to products, consumers must ensure that all products they purchase are compliant with the laws and regulations of the country. Consumers must also exercise their responsibility to be critically aware.

This responsibility can be exercised by contacting BAF before attempting to import seeds.