Six businesses in Honiara has paid their fines of $5000 each to the Biosecurity Solomon Islands of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) for violating the country’s (SI) Biosecurity regulations.

The six firms are from the eight business houses/shops raided by the Biosecurity officers and the RSIPF officers in a joint operation on 25th January 2021 for breaching the Biosecurity Act 2013 regulations by smuggling seeds in the country and sold it without an authorized Biosecurity “Import Permit” to the public.

Samuel Hone of the BSI Compliance & Auditing said the fines were imposed on those companies for non-compliance with the Biosecurity Act 2013.

“From the 8 shops that we investigated and confiscated seeds, six has paid their fines while the other two shops are only retailers therefore they are not eligible to pay the non-compliance fines as the non-compliance fines only applies to companies and individuals who illegally imported seeds from overseas into the country.

“A total of $30,000.00 was paid and collected by BSI so far,” Mr. Hone confirmed.

Meanwhile, Director of Biosecurity Solomon Islands (BSI) Francis Tsatsia thanked those companies for complying and for coming forward to settle their fines.

He said that this is a good example that everyone, especially companies and individuals who want to import seeds must learn from to avoid falling in such unfortunate situation in the future.

He also thanked his officers and the RSIPF officers for the successful joint operation conducted that resulted in the seizure of smuggled seeds and bringing those breaching Solomon Islands Biosecurity law to pay the legal costs.

Source: MAL Press Release