THE Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) in conjunction with the Department of Environment (DOE) has conducted training for biosecurity officers and industry fumigators on the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme (AFAS) which, when implemented, will bring significant trade benefits for Fiji and Australia.
Authority acting chief executive officer Waisiki Gonemaituba said in a statement AFAS accreditation was crucial because Fiji would have the same fumigation standards as Australia and other AFAS accredited countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, PNG, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Mr Gonemaituba said AFAS was a significant initiative in BAF's efforts to further strengthen trade relations not only between Fiji and Australia but also with other AFAS-accredited countries.
"With the implementation of AFAS, Fiji would have an improved capability to treat products requiring fumigation for export to Australia and other markets," he said.
"This could see faster clearance of cargo from Fiji at the ports, increased surety of clearance and reduction in costs for Fiji exporters through negating the need for additional inspections, containers uplifts, transfer and refumigation."
According to Mr Gonemaituba, AFAS will also contribute to environmentally sustainable development with the decreased use of methyl bromide — a known ozone-depleting gas associated with a number of occupational health and safety issues.