The disagreement between PNG and Fiji regarding the trading of Ox & Palm has taken a new twist.
This follows a letter from the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) of Papua New Guinea stating Ox & Palm not possessing any biosecurity risk, as claimed by Fiji.
NAQIA revealed that Fiji does not have in place an established biosecurity pathway (or import protocol) for PNG’s Ox & Palm and that there is no real biosecurity threat to Fiji.
PNG Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister, Richard Maru, said Fiji continues to disrespect the trading relationship with Papua New Guinea, and this is not done in the true spirit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
However, Minister Maru said PNG will not tolerate such accusations, and instead will continue to open up more inter-trade routes with MSG countries.
Meanwhile, NAQIA said in order to resolve these issues, it now seeks formal communication of the following from Fiji:
- The specific technical basis for considering that Ox & Palm canned corned beef and processed Trukai rice may present unacceptable biosecurity or broader SPS threats to Fiji including reports of previous import risks assessment audit that Fiji BAF has conducted in PNG.
- A technical dossier detailing Fiji’s status for OIE-listed pests and diseases.