SOLOMON Islands will soon start exporting animal and animal products, plants and plant products to the Republic of Kiribati.
The trade should be implemented as soon as Biosecurity Republic of Kiribati (BROK) organize and set up their countries Import Protocol (IP) for Biosecurity Solomon Islands (BSI) to comply with.
This came about following series of successful negotiations between the two countries after Biosecurity Solomon Islands market access delegation visited the Republic of Kiribati in September last year 2019 to investigate potential export opportunities.
To show their seriousness and eagerness to see bilateral and trade arrangements in place and implemented immediately Kiribati’s Minister of Environment, Lands & Agricultural Development Hon. Alexander Teabo accompanied by Mr Timon Uatioa – Senior Assistant Secretary and Teaaro Otiuea – Deputy Director, Agriculture & Livestock Division travelled to Honiara and met with the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) Hon. Augustine Auga, Permanent Secretary Ethel Tebengi Frances, Undersecretary Michael Ho’ota and Director of Biosecurity Solomon Islands Francis Tsatsia Tuesday last week.
The Honiara meeting saw both parties discussed how best to quickly implement bilateral market access arrangements for Solomon Islands to export agriculture and horticultural produce into Kiribati and for Kiribati to export some of the agreed products into Solomon Islands.
The two Ministers were eager to see that trade discussions between the two countries biosecurity teams developed into an MOU which may not only include trade but expand to include capacity building and other Agriculture support and collaborations going forward into the future.
End of March 2020 was proposed as deadline for delivery of an MOU for review by both countries whereby Biosecurity Republic of Kiribati will work towards accomplishing each Import Protocols or Import Requirements.
Biosecurity Solomon Islands have observed to the opportunity to trade with Kiribati but needed formal arrangements to make the trade prospect feasible. The mission by Biosecurity of Solomon Islands to Kiribati last year is a success for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is hopeful to send a similar mission to another Pacific Island country this year with similar agenda – observe and discuss trading arrangements for Solomon Islands agriculture products.
Biosecurity deals with and concern lies on trade of plants & plant products, animal & animal products that could pose threat to the importing country’s food security and environment. Biosecurity must therefore take on the responsibility to encourage trade between countries (parties) only if it is safe, healthy, plant and animal pest & disease free and economically feasible.
Biosecurity approach trade to be done appropriately and be consistent with Article III, IV, VI, VIII of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Pacific Plant Protection Organisation (PPPO) objectives and outcomes not limited to the provisions of WTO GATT and GAT regarding international cooperation and regional integration.
Biosecurity Solomon Islands (BSI) and Biosecurity Republic of Kiribati (BROK) had joined meeting in Kiribati from 4th – 11th Sept 2019 where both parties have agreed to comply to International Standards on Phytosanitary matters in accordance with Agreement on SPS measures reached under the GATT obligation to facilitate trade in between them.
On 10th Sept 2019, both countries have agreed in principle to start work on selected live plants & plant products, animal & animal products from both countries to allow and accepted entry into each other’s border but complying to each countries Import and Export Protocols.
9th Sept 2019 – Parties decided and confirmed to have a priority list based on the pest status listing. Fifteen potential commodities were moved from the original list and now agreed on for Biosecurity of the Republic of Kiribati to begin doing import risk assessment immediately. The Priority Listed products are outlined below:-
- Pak choi Cabbage
- Choi sum Cabbage
- Egg plant
- Green Beans
- Spring Onion
- Capsicum/ Green Pepper
- Taro Leaf ( Fresh & processed / cooked)
- Frozen cassava
- Peanut – Fresh & Processed.
- Eggs ( Quota)