Exporters and importers are being warned of unscrupulous behaviour on the part of certain agents of the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) or people posing as BAF agents.
Certain authorised agents are marking-up services provided and imposing further fees for payments already made while others posing as BAF agents are conning exporters and importers by illegally imposing biosecurity and quarantine fees. There are also instances in which authorized agents are imposing fees and charges but are pocketing them instead of remitting them to BAF.
A joint statement from BAF and the Fiji Commerce Commission (FCC) describes such behaviour as criminal and says those responsible will face the full force of the law.
“This criminal behaviour goes directly against the Fijian Government’s commitment to make affordable the basic requirements of Fijians. The imposition of these unfair charges and fees increases the costs of Fiji’s exports and imports and impacts the livelihoods of every law-abiding Fijian. The government will be taking immediate steps to halt these illicit activities to prevent further erosion of Fiji’s competitive advantage in the international marketplace.”
The statement says both the FCC and BAF will be working closely with law enforcement agencies and stakeholders in the export and import sector to combat this illicit activity.