Fiji Time: 2:55 AM on Thursday 22 March

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Archives » Article Index

Hygiene standard

Monika Singh
Friday, March 02, 2018

FIJI'S continued compliance to the Sea Container Hygiene System (SCHS) could mean that up to 95 per cent of containers sent to Australia would not require intervention or inspection.

SCHS is a system designed to ensure sea containers arriving into Australia and New Zealand are free from pests.

Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) congratulated Fiji for adopting the SCHS and its acting director cargo and mail section, compliance control branch, Rama Karri, confirmed that formal recognition of the SCHS would commence on April 1, 2018.

Mr Karri spoke at the Exporters Symposium jointly organised by Ministry of Agriculture and the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) program on Wednesday in Suva.

A media statement from PHAMA yesterday said it was highlighted at the symposium that of every 100 containers sent from Fiji to Australia, at least seven were found to have high levels of soil contamination.

It said as a result, all containers from Fiji were required to undergo stringent inspection upon arrival at Australian ports to prevent any possible transfer of pests into the country.

Mr Karri said every year, Australia received 2.5 million container imports from more than 200 ports.

According to Mr Karri, in terms of biosecurity risk material (BRM) detection on the containers soil contamination represented 74 per cent of the breakdown of BRM.

He said with SCHS in place, there would be better management of biosecurity risks associated with sea containers at the port of loading.

"If the risks are managed here, there'll be no need for additional control abroad. Risks managed offshore provide the highest level of protection for Australia," Mr Karri said.

According to Mr Karri on average, it cost about $A200 ($F314)-$A300 ($F472) for a container to be inspected and that with the introduction of the SCHS, savings for the industry was valued at $A6 million ($F9m-$A9m ($F14m) per year as a result of reduced onshore inspection, cleaning and storage costs.

He also confirmed that although Fiji was on Australia's Country Action List, the list would be reviewed and the results announced through normal channels including the World Trade Organisation.

Meanwhile New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries Fresh Produce Imports Pacific Market Access senior adviser Nacanieli Waqa said prior to 2006, out of 80 per cent of container problems experienced in New Zealand, 40 per cent involved the Pacific.

However he said this had since improved with the introduction of the SCHS.

"We are now pushing back compliance and are getting the shipping agents to drive compliance. We can save a lot and this is the buy-in factor into the SCHS," he said.

He said assessments of compliance levels were made every three months and a company's rate of interventions or inspections was adjusted in accordance to the assessment findings. "If they've been compliant, the minimum inspection rate is 5 per cent. But when they become non-compliant, we resume the 100 per cent intervention. The SCHS is dictated by compliance," he said.

PHAMA has been working to promote a co-ordinated use of the SCHS by exporting companies in Fiji.

This is in line with the program's priority to maintain and improve existing market access by developing the capacity of the public and private sectors to meet international market requirements.

A second exporters symposium will be held in Nadi on March 2, 2018.

Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.64740.6284
JPY 53.386250.3862
GBP 0.35270.3447
EUR 0.40460.3926
NZD 0.69590.6629
AUD 0.64750.6225
USD 0.49700.4800



Exchange Rate updated on 21st, March, 2018

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Deadly disease
  2. SGS junior has fastest 100m time
  3. Veremalua wants another gold, a win for his daughter
  4. Free education clarification
  5. SJSS take two
  6. Datt declares NFP support
  7. Home for widow
  8. Police question 13year old for rape
  9. Simpson wins it for Grammar
  10. Drop-outs return to school

Top Stories this Week

  1. Sims' 100th game Thursday (15 Mar)
  2. Meningococcal disease outbreak Tuesday (20 Mar)
  3. Men urged to marry Thursday (15 Mar)
  4. 'Forced to go' Saturday (17 Mar)
  5. Doctors speak out Sunday (18 Mar)
  6. No desk for this girl Monday (19 Mar)
  7. Where are our horses Sunday (18 Mar)
  8. Baravilala's ode to Cessna victims Thursday (15 Mar)
  9. A star in the making Thursday (15 Mar)
  10. 12 dead by disease Tuesday (20 Mar)