Lautoka Port works towards sea container hygiene system

Trial test participants at Queens Wharf in Lautoka. Picture: SUPPLIED/FIJI PORTS CORPORATION LTD

A TRIAL test on the implementation of Sea Container Hygiene System (SCHS) will be conducted this week at the Lautoka Port.

This follows a successful workshop held in Lautoka last week by the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Program (PHAMA).

Those attending the workshop included Fiji Ports Corporation Limited, Fiji Ports Terminal Limited, Ministry of Agriculture, and Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, Neptune Shipping, Pacific Direct Line and the Australian High Commission representatives.

According to Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd the Sea Container Hygiene System (SCHS) is a long-term strategy developed to manage biosecurity risks associated with sea containers at the port of loading.

The system aims to reduce biosecurity risk to Australia and New Zealand at the port of loading by introducing robust contaminant management systems, including the implementation of effective container cleaning processes, prevention of re-contamination of cleaned containers and raising awareness of sea container biosecurity issues at offshore container processing facilities.

Lautoka Port controller Apenisa Dawai said the workshop was informative and taught them the importance of ensuring the containers that are sent to the port meet the expected hygiene standard required.

“There is a need to promote this system within our organisation and be supportive of it.

“It lifts the standard of our container hygiene and allows for easy access to New Zealand and Australia once the stamp is seen on the containers.”

Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd operations coordinator Sevuloni Lavaisiga said they were thankful to have been invited to that stakeholders meeting and to note the concerns raised by exporters since FPTL is in charge of operations.

“As the last point of exit for the units we have not been made aware of problems being faced and through the meeting, we will try to phase out a corrective plan to be part of the Sea Container Hygiene System with the approval of the management,” Mr Lavaisiga said.

“This, in turn will help our economy in making sure our farmers are provided with the greatest service and their exports reach their intended destination without any hindrance.”

The stakeholders’ workshop was conducted by Dr. Bronwyn Wiseman, deputy team leader PHAMA program.

According to FPCL PHAMA provides practical and targeted assistance to help Pacific island countries manage regulatory aspects associated with exporting primary and value added products.

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