Plant Protection Unit urges plant importers items to get permits

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In a reminder to residents who wish to import regulated and other plant commodities into Antigua and Barbuda, the Plant Protection Unit (PPU) is advising that an import permit must first be applied for and granted.

A release from the unit stated that, “importers, brokers, overseas mailbox operators, courier companies and other members of the general public are hereby reminded of the regulation of the entry into Antigua and Barbuda of commodities of plant origin as well as products that provide a pathway for the entry of plant pests.”

Those items include all plants, planting material, seeds, cuttings, and other material intended for planting; all fruits, vegetables, cut flowers, lumber and other non- and/or semi-processed plant materials intended for use other than for planting and all plant growth media and mulches.

In addition, the release said that “for those commodities, a valid import permit from Antigua and Barbuda must be presented before a plant health (Phytosanitary) certificate from the country of export is issued.”

The department also highlighted that the import permits are single-use only and applications require documentation detailing the composition of each consignment.

In addition, “import permits must be obtained from the Plant Protection Unit prior to placing orders for the consignments of regulated articles and such permit must be presented to the exporter upon placement of such orders.      “Since a pest risk assessment may be required, it is advised that importers make application for each import permit at least one week prior to placement of orders for same. Some commodities may require chemical or their treatment prior to shipment and will not be permitted entry without the required pre-export treatments,” it detailed.

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