Quarantine

Quarantine

The Quarantine Unit is a sub-program at the Department of Agriculture that focuses mainly on agricultural health and food safety matters with the fundamental role of preventing the introduction and spread of plant pests in St. Kitts, as they threaten crops, livestock and biodiversity in general. The Quarantine Unit is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures as it relates to plant health matters. Phytosanitary measures are any legislation, regulation or official procedure having the purpose to prevent the introduction and or spread of quarantine pests, or to limit the economic impact of regulated non-quarantine pests. Consequently, the Unit seeks to regulate the movement of plants, plant products and regulated articles within and across the borders of St. Kitts with the regulation system allowing for inspection, certification, prohibition of entry, treatment and destruction of plants, plant products and regulated articles.

The Quarantine Unit is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures as it relates to plant health matters. Phytosanitary measures are any legislation, regulation or official procedure having the purpose to prevent the introduction and or spread of quarantine pests, or to limit the economic impact of regulated non-quarantine pests.

Consequently, the Unit seeks to regulate the movement of plants, plant products and regulated articles within and across the borders of St. Kitts with the regulation system allowing for inspection, certification, prohibition of entry, treatment and destruction of plants, plant products and regulated articles.

The Quarantine Unit performs its functions according to the St. Kitts Strategy and Action Plan for Agriculture (SKSAP) 2017-2021 and also performs operational duties under five of the eight Priorities Areas of the SKSAP which are:

  • create an environment for agribusiness to be more productive and profitable via capacity building and innovation
  • enhance national food and nutrition security with emphasis on food safety
  • adopt and develop measures to adopt and mitigate climate change
  • develop and strengthen appropriate institutional structures
  • mechanisms and human resource capacities and reduce crop and livestock losses

Functions

Owing to increased global trade, travel, transport and tourism and regional and international obligations, the quarantine services offered by the Department of Agriculture in St. Kitts play a critically important role in safeguarding plant health, facilitating trade and protecting the environment. Core functions of the Quarantine Unit include:

  • issuance of import permits and phytosanitary certificates
  • inspection of consignments of plants
  • plant products or regulated articles
  • pest risk analysis and pest surveillance
  • information dissemination related to phytosanitary measures and proposal
  • review and enforcement of legislation
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