The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has called all international travellers, who will be visiting or returning to South Africa during the Easter holidays, to comply with the country’s import requirements for agricultural and related regulated products.
“Compliance will assist our country in preventing and minimising the potential risk of introducing alien invasive species, foreign pests and diseases that could be associated with imported plants, plant products, animals, animal products and other regulated goods,” the department said.
The department said South Africa, like any other country, has a crucial mandate and sovereign right to protect its territory, biodiversity and economy against harm.
The country regulates the importation of animals and animal products, liquor products, plants and plant products, honey and honey products, as well as any other potentially harmful materials from other countries into its territory.
This is in accordance with the country’s relevant legislation, which is aimed at preventing the introduction, establishment and spread of pests and diseases from other parts of the world.
“Once a quarantine pest or disease is introduced into the country, we find it difficult and expensive to control and manage, thus prevention is imperative. Furthermore, the importation of certain liquor products with an alcohol content of more than 1% into the country for drinking purposes is restricted, except on the authority of an import certificate issued by DAFF,” the department said.
Upon arrival in South Africa, all the imported consignments of regulated products must be presented to the DAFF inspectors at the port of entry for compliance inspections, as per import conditions.
“The consignments may not be removed from the port of entry without written authorisation or before being granted entry by the DAFF inspectors.”
The department noted that import conditions may differ according to the country of origin/export, global pest distribution and type of products.
Travellers are advised to contact the department’s offices for detailed information regarding the product to be imported.
For animals and animal products, they can call 012 319 7476/7500/6313, fax 012 319 8292 or e-mail VetPermits@daff.gov.za.
For plants and plant products, they can contact 012 319 6102/6130/6207/6313, fax 012 319 6370 or e-mail PlantHealthPermits@daff.gov.za.
For liquor products, travellers can call 011 971 5138 or 012 319 6137 or e-mail NjokoS@daff.gov.za.
For information on DAFF inspection services and procedures, contact the Directorate Inspection Services on 012 309 8701, fax 012 309 8785 or e-mail ErnestP@daff.gov.za. – SAnews.gov.za