Head of Plant Protection and Quarantine Unit, Nelson Laville has explained that inspections are carried out on all imported agricultural commodities to help prevent the distribution of any tainted produce.
He made that statement while speaking to the media last Friday, in an interview where he denounced the rumors of plastic cabbage being distributed in Dominica.
Laville stated that the mandatory inspections reduce the chances of any contaminated products from entering the country.
He noted that if discovered, these products will either be disposed of, or sent back to the exporter.
“Hypothetically speaking, if a commodity which is supposed to be an agricultural commodity is imported into Dominica, it would be intercepted more than likely at our inspections on the port. If that is the case we would confiscate it and destroy it or repatriate it; meaning send it back to its original point,” Laville stated.
He explained that customs law, food safety law, and plant quarantine laws demand that the exporter would face consequences, “because Dominica would now issue a non-compliance report to the authorities from the exporting country and that now would trigger a ban of the person from exporting to any destination for that matter.”
Laville added that there are serious repercussions under international law if an exporter knowingly distributes contaminated products, including the implementation of bans and blacklisting the exporter.
“There are a number of consequences if a commodity which is said to be an agricultural commodity is not that after it has been exported from a country,” he noted.
“Likewise if Dominica exports something to a country and we say its coconut but when it gets to the other side it is not coconut there will be consequences for Dominica, one of which is blacklisting. Once you are blacklisted, it means you are prohibited from exporting,” Laville further added.