The Port of Lautoka in Fiji has been included in the Sea Container Hygiene System (SCHS), making exporting to Australia easier for Fijian exporters.
Under the SCHS, containers are cleaned at recognised facilities before being transported to the port for storage and loading. This reduces external inspections on arrival to as low as 5%, leading to cost savings for Fijian businesses and faster container movement.
Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) CEO Michael Bartlett welcomed the announcement.
“BAF has been working hard over the last few years to extend the SCHS to Lautoka Port and improve processes for exporters,” Bartlett said.
“The SCHS has already been successfully implemented at the Port of Suva. High compliance has resulted in container inspections into Australia under the system being reduced by 95% in recent years.
“This has led to reduced costs for Fijian exporters. We’re pleased to extend these benefits to the Port of Lautoka. BAF will continue to work with the Australian Government to explore new ways to facilitate trade, while managing biosecurity risks.”
Australia’s Charge d’Affaires in Fiji, Stuart Watts, said an important element of the Vuvale Partnership is supporting increased trade between Australia and Fiji.
“This is a practical example of an improvement, enabling high-quality Fijian exports to get onto Australian shelves more quickly, and with lower costs to exporters.”
“We congratulate the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji and port authorities for all their hard work to secure this accreditation.”
President of the Fiji Australia Business Council (FABC), Vera Chute, also welcomed this announcement saying the Council had been advocating for improvements to container processing times for Fijian exports.
“We’re pleased the Australian and Fijian Governments have listened to our concerns and helped reduce the costs of exporting from Fiji to Australia.”