From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) has listed 10 major reasons agro-export commodities are mostly rejected abroad.
The license issuing regulatory agency under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), also identified these factors to why it decline to certify produce for export.
According to reason stated in its Quarantine Bulletin Vol. 4, most farm produce meant for exports were rejected due to lack of phytosanitary certificate which only the NAQS issues.
Nigeria, in recent time had suffered huge challenge for its inability to export some of its agricultural produce, thus posing as threat to diversify the economy.
Most notable was during the era of the former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, when yam consignments and beans packaged for export, at separate times were rejected due to wrong packaging, fake phytosanitary certificate among other reasons.
However, the conditions, as released by Dr. Chigozie Nwodo, Head, Media, Communication and Strategies Unit are expected to address the situation.
“For the guidance of exporters of agricultural commodities and the members of the public, the NAQS is publishing 10 major reasons for declining to certify a consignment meant for export and which are possible grounds for their rejection in the destination country.”
Agricultural items intended for export may be rejected for any of the following listed reasons, amongst others:
Absence of sanitary/ phytosanitary certificate
The consignment must be accompanied by a valid sanitary certificate (for products of animal and aquatic origin) and a phytosanitary certificate (for products of plants origin). The certificates are issued after inspection and certification of the contents of the cargo, in accordance with the conditions on the import permit of the destination country. The exporter must submit the items for inspection and certification by NAQS and obtain the applicable certificate prior to shipment.
Infestation with harmful organisms
The produce intended for export must be free of harmful organisms or toxic substances.
Incomplete information on sanitary/phytosanitary certificate
All information required in the sanitary/ phytosanitary certificate must be provided legibly in print.
Forgery/ Alteration of certificate
Forgery or alteration will render the certificate invalid and make products subject to rejection. Any alteration in the date on the certificate, type of consignment, weight and volume of consignment, and authorized signature on the certificate renders it invalid. A certificate with mutilated particulars is, therefore, unacceptable.
The information on the label of the cargo must be descriptive of the exact contents of the cargo as they are in the Sanitary and Phytosanitary certificates.
Concealment of strange agro-produce in a consignment of certified commodity
Concealment of an uncertified agricultural item in the consignment of a certified produce earns total rejection.
Improper export procedure
Certain products require the exporter to give the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service advance notification of country to which export is intended.
Exporting prohibited items
Some countries prohibit the export of certain agricultural items. Cargo of products on the prohibition list of the destination is liable to rejection at the port of entry.
Absence of additional declaration
Some countries require declarations like date of harvest, place of harvest, whether there are any special handling precautions in addition to the sanitary/phytosanitary certificate.
Use of unapproved fumigants
The detection of residues of unapproved fumigants in the produce intended for export may constitute basis for rejection of the cargo.
The NAQS further advised prospective exporters of agro-commodities to visit its website – www.naqs.gov.ng for general information on quarantine procedures and NAQS on specific agro-export.