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BAF Warns Custom Brokers And Freight Forward Companies

Custom brokers and freight forward companies have been warned not to impose additional mark- up on biosecurity fees and charges on exporters and importers. This warning was given by the
18 Dec 2015 16:46
BAF Warns Custom Brokers And Freight Forward Companies

Custom brokers and freight forward companies have been warned not to impose additional mark- up on biosecurity fees and charges on exporters and importers.

This warning was given by the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF).

Executive Chairman Xavier Riyaz Khan said the imposition of unfair fees and charges by custom brokers and freight forward companies is illegal.

He added this increases the costs of Fijian exports and imports, impacting the livelihoods of ordinary Fijians.

Mr Khan warned that BAF will be working closely with law enforcement agencies and stakeholders in the export and import sector to combat this unethical and illegal practice.

“Such behaviour is illegal and those responsible will face full force of the law,” he said.

Furthermore  Mr. Khan also refuted claims of double-dipping by the Custom Brokers and Forwarders Council of Fiji (CBFCF) on tailgate, inspection and discharge fees.

He said BAF provided services on request from clients and the fees and charges are based on the different services provided and activities performed. 

“For example, tailgate inspection is the initial inspection of imported goods conducted at the port of entry for the verification of cargo and associated biosecurity risks.  Following this, the decision is made on the need of full inspection,” he said.

“The importer will only be charged the full inspection fee if any biosecurity risk is found during tailgate inspection. Full Inspection fees are not charged to importers unless determined to be necessary,” he said.

Biosecurity Officers supervise the discharge of cargo from the ships mainly to eliminate any biosecurity risks that could significantly impact the trade and livelihoods of Fijians.

The discharge fee is charged to all importers on cargo and it is directed to the shipping agents.

Mr Khan said BAF has been proactively meeting with all stakeholders to discuss biosecurity operations and strategies to remove trade barriers — as these barriers could increase the costs passed to ordinary Fijians.

Mr Khan further added that unscrupulous activities such as marking up gazette fees & charges should cease because these fees significantly increase consumer prices for goods and services.



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