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By Cynthia Maku

The Government is on the lookout and cracking down on importers since the January 6 ban on imports of fresh, frozen, and chilled chicken into the country. 

And only ten days after the ban, a first importer has been caught at the Motukea International Terminal (MIT) or Motukea wharf in Port Moresby for illegally importing 740 kilograms of the banned chicken tails from China. 

The National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) – the country’s biosecurity watchdog – is enforcing the chicken ban and was behind the confiscation of the 12 by 20 (12 x 20) foot containers (FCL), three of which containers carried the banned chicken tails hidden among the Mechanically Debone Meat  (MDM)

NAQIA managing director, Joel Alu in commending his operations and inspections ground team for a job well done said, “NAQIA will cease issuance of import permit to Food Union Limited to import MDM products from China and will also charge and penalize Food Union Limited for the offence under PNG laws.”

Mr. Alu extends the warning to all importers that intend to breach PNG biosecurity standards that they will be issued with the same penalties with severe consequences. 

MDMs are allowed into PNG from sources that meets the New Zealand standard which is OIE Standard of the World Trade Organization. However, with this breach, all MDM and other chicken products from China are now also ceased forthwith. 

“The company Food Union Limited failed to comply and honor its commitment to import only MDM products but instead tried to smuggle in other prohibited chicken products under the permit. Food Union tried to smuggle in 740 kg of chicken cocktails under the guise of MDMs.

“Food Union Limited displayed lack of respect for PNG biosecurity protocol thereby posing biosecurity threat to the poultry industry and the livelihood of our people. NAQIA will cease issuance of import permit to Food Union Limited to import MDM products from China”

Alu said the 12 x 20 FCL of MDM made up of two separate shipments/consignment (5FCL and 7FCL) that arrived from China on Suva Chief V # 2302 and belonging to Food Union Limited C/- Pacific Island Express Services (PIES). 

Senior Agriculture Quarantine Officer (SAQO) based at the Motukea wharf, Dinah Maraga stated in her report: “These shipments were subjected to 100% inspection which our quarantine officers took five days to complete from January 16 to 21. 

“A total of 37 x 20 kg bags of Chicken Tails were taken out from 3 FCLs out of the 7 FCLs that were inspected. They have been loaded into a separate reefer container for storage pending destruction.

“These 37 bags of chicken tails have landed illegally without import permit and certificate, and most of all, has breached Circular 01-2023 issued from Office of NAQIA Managing Director. 

“They have been detained under NODA 12455 for destruction through incineration and will also be charged penalty.

“Consignment of 5 x 20 FCLs of MDM: From this shipment, no chicken tails were found. We have released the containers and only await Clearing Agent PIES, who is currently negotiating with Total Waste Management for the destruction of the 37 bags of Chicken Tail”. Maraga concluded.

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