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Frequently asked questions

Category: Uncategorised Published on Saturday, 01 January 2011 Written by Super User

What are the "risk" items I should avoid bringing in?
These are items that could possibly still carry an animal or plant disease, or harbour a pest, or which could become a threat to our environment.
Although most are obvious - live animals, live plants, fresh meat and fresh fruit/vegetables, others are not so obvious. These would include eggs, dairy products, skins, used machinery, Chinese medicines, foreign labelling, seeds, untreated wooden items and contaminated sea containers.
If in doubt leave it behind or declare.

Why is meat from some countries not allowed?
Not all meat is prohibited entry, in some cases provided a prior Import Permit has been issued, and entry conditions met, it is OK to bring in.
Prohibited meat is one of the ways that a serious animal disease could enter our country. Foot and Mouth disease is the most devastating possibility as it would destroy the healthy status of our cattle and pigs, and may significantly affect our dietary habits.

Why is my one apple or orange (fruit) a risk?
Although we have several species of fruit fly in Samoa they are controllable and do not greatly affect our commercial production.
There are many overseas species of fruit fly that would affect our production of fruits and vegetables and would possibly mean the end for many of our produce exports.
These fruit flies are present in many of our near neighbouring countries (for example Queensland, Australia where they spent many millions of dollars controlling an outbreak) and one thoughtless act of bringing in an infested undeclared apple or orange could be the start of an outbreak here.

Why can't I bring in honey?
Honey is produced by bees in completely natural conditions and when collected and packaged does not go through any sterilising process.
Samoa produces superior honey because our environment is so clean and disease free, other countries are not so fortunate and imported honey could be the potential carrier of bee diseases that would decimate our honey production capability.                

Why can't I bring back processed foods?
In most cases you can, but the term "processed" means different things to different people. In some cases "processed foods" are still capable of carrying a disease, and harbouring pests.
The best thing to do is to ask us first then you won't be disappointed on arrival.

Why is it so important that I fill in my declaration form honestly?
You are helping keep Samoa free of exotic pests and diseases that could harm our environment, as it enables the Quarantine Officer to make a risk judgement on goods you are carrying.
The other reason is that your declaration form is a legal document. If you do not fill in or make a false declaration, you will be prosecuted.

What if I bring in a mosquito coil or mortein?

Mosquito coil and mortein are considered as pesticides. A pesticide is a substance or mixture of substances which, is used for preventing, destroying or controlling any pest; it may be administered to animals for the control of insects, arachnids, or other pests on their bodies. You must declare and have an import permit when bring in these household pesticides through any port of entry.


What will happen to my goods if they do not meet Quarantine Requirements?

At the airports, there are Amnesty bins available, which are the last option you have if you bring in agricultural goods that are of risk and are not declared. These Amnesty bins are used for the disposal of any goods which do not have proper documentation which can be destroyed in the incinerator


What treatment takes place for Imported Vehicles and Machinery?

All imported vehicles, car parts and heavy duty machinery are inspected on arrival and go through a disinfestations treatment. A standard fee applies for the various types of treatment that can be carried out for the different type of vehicle.



What about taking Handicrafts to Overseas?

Handicrafts overseas are usually declared on the Passenger Declaration Forms. But in many cases where there is a large quantity, it is usually best to opt for certification from our Quarantine office, where there is a standard fee for the type of treatment that is carried out, which depends also on the requirements of the country of export.


What about cakes and sweets, surely I don't need to declare those?
The declaration form asks you to declare all foodstuffs, so you need to declare these too.
The Quarantine Officer will just satisfy that what you are carrying is a "true" sweet or cake and allow entry. In some cases the term "sweets" covers foodstuffs that also contain meats, or which are raw or dried fruits - and some "cakes" also contain whole eggs.

Please declare all foodstuffs you are carrying.

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