The Plant Quarantine Service provides the first line of defense in pest surveillance that is, preventing the entry of pest into Trinidad and Tobago. It protects Trinidad and Tobago’s borders from the invasion of pests and diseases by the issuing of import permits, inspection of import/export cargo and baggage at ports of entry, seizures of import/export cargo and baggage and the execution of post-entry inspections.
Suspicious materials are intercepted and sent to the Entomology and Plant Pathology Diagnostic Laboratories for testing before conditional release or destruction. Plant material is also screened at the glasshouse before destruction or conditional release. Imports found to contravene the Plant Protection Act 13 of 1975 are seized and destroyed.
Exports are inspected and certified (in accordance with the requisite conditions of entry stated on the import permit) in an effort to prevent the spread of plant pests. Import permits (outlining the conditions to be met) are granted on a case-by-case basis.
This unit is also involved in:
- Surveillance for early detection of exotic fruit flies of plant quarantine importance;
- Compiling the Regulated Pest List for Trinidad and Tobago; and
- Ensuring compliance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures. Inspections and audits of farms certified treatment operators are conducted to verify compliance with (ISPM #15) - Guidelines for regulating wood packaging material in International Trade.
- Certification of farms as outlined in the farm certification protocol in accord with the Barbados/Trinidad and Tobago Agricultural Trade Protocol of 2001.