Biosecurity & Trade Support

The activities implemented by the Biosecurity & Trade Support (BATS) Team are based on the SPC Land Resources Division Strategic Plan (2009-2010) Objective number 3 on improved biosecurity and increased trade in agriculture and forestry products.

Objective 3.1: National capacity to comply with international and other relevant standards strengthened:

To facilitate trade in agricultural and forestry products, PICTs must meet a variety of international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and food safety standards. Biosecurity & Trade Facilitation plays a crucial role in assisting countries to comply with international standards through training and capacity building to enhance PICTs ability to take advantage of trading opportunities

The BATS group provides technical services to the PICTs in the following areas:

  • upgrade and maintain national border biosecurity (quarantine) services and biosecurity related trade services including harmonization of laws and procedures
  • compliance with international standards
  • capacity building in trade facilitation procedures
  • ensure safe movement of germplasm in the region
  • strengthen border operations by supplying facilities, training in the use of new improved facilities and continued support for training in inspection and surveillance as the first line of defence to minimise incursions.

Objective 3.2: National capacity to increase domestic and export trade developed and strengthened:

Increasing international trade in agricultural and forestry products relies on obtaining market access approvals from importing countries. BATS has been working to build capacity of PICTs to complete market access requests as part of the training provided by its Import and Export Technology Centre (IMPEXTEK). These activities are vital if PICTs are to realize the benefits of international trading opportunities.

The BATS group achieves the above objective by assisting PICTs in the following activities by assisting PICTs

  • to conduct import risk analysis
  • develop import protocols
  • develop trade access submissions and
  • to comply with export protocol and certification based on international standard, regional or trade partner procedures.

Objective 3.3: Sustainable and viable post-harvest technologies developed and promoted:

Post harvest handling and value-adding methods are important to meeting the quality requirement of the market and the quarantine requirements of importing countries. The small economies of PICTs preclude competing on cost grounds wit may other competitors, but the development of innovative post-harvest technologies and value adding methods can assist countries in developing niche products where they have comparative advantages.

BATF continue to support research activities to develop and evaluate appropriate post-harvest technologies by

  • facilitating economic analysis
  • marketing research and evaluation of national capacity to maintain continuity of commodity supplies for domestic or of potential export commodities
  • collaborating with other LRD groups and stakeholders develop programmes focusing on supply chains to raise the quality and reduce post-harvest losses and to add value to agricultural and tree products for domestic and export trade
  • consulting with traders, trade partners and producers , facilitate and support the development of appropriate pre-shipment treatments and handling to increase shelf life, reduce spoilage and compliance with the sanitary and phytosanitary requirements of trade partners.

Output 3.4: Improved information available on plant and animal health status

Accurate information on plant and animal pest status is a precondition for trading in agricultural and forestry products. The Pacific Island Pest List Database (PIPLD) provides support for PICTs wanting to access overseas markets and maintain existing market access. These regional databases will further enhanced by BATF direct participation on the various global compendia produced by the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International (CABI)

Trade has an important role to play in supporting economic growth in PICTs with trade in agricultural and forestry products. It must be supported by effective biosecurity support services to enable PICTs to submit market access requests based on valid scientific evidence.

BATS supports the capacity of PICTs

  • to comply with the requirements of importing countries and ensure imports comply with their own requirements and thus reducing the risks of introducing new pests and diseases due to increased trade and movement of people
  • maintain efficient databases for rigorous and up-to-date, readily accessible records of the complete list of all pests and diseases of plants and animals essential for countries of the Pacific to produce credible quarantine import protocols (based on IRAs) and to make acceptable market access submissions for exports
  • assist PICTs develop national biosecurity facility based on the regional model to enable improved biosecurity operations and risk based decision-making on biosecurity issues and
  • maintain a biosecurity alert and information service to rapidly inform PICTs of imminent pest and disease threats and to provide precautionary technical advice.