Over 18 containers shipped to Guyana under GA-FDD radar

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A local wharf [File Photo]
In excess of 18 containers shipped to Guyana is under the radar of the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD), it said in a statement today.

The containers belong to the same importer who falsified documents for substandard food items to be imported from Canada.

In a press statement, GA-FDD said visits were made by officers from the department to markets and supermarkets in Georgetown where only a few items were located and seized.

Communication is ongoing with inspectors in outlying regions to enhance surveillance for the identified products.

The department is warning importers of the practice of importing substandard items of food into Guyana and the use of fraudulent / unauthorised documentation to facilitate these imports.

Several containers for the named importer are currently at the city wharf and the public is assured that detailed examination will be exacted on all his containers for compliance, before entry is allowed or facilitated.

The Department is currently enjoying full support and collaboration from the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) – Customs Unit to guard against this practice and have collectively put systems in place to selectively flag the imports of known defaulters in the Customs ASYCUDA system, since this act of extending shelf life was perpetrated before in June of 2016.

The Regulatory Authority in Canada (Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), has officially informed the GA-FDD that the certificates used to facilitate the current exports were discontinued since 15th January 2019 and the signatory used for the export is an unauthorized one. The Department has since made an appeal to the CFIA to exercise greater scrutiny on our behalf for food exported from Canada to Guyana.

The Department is also in receipt of an official communication from the office of Mohabir A. Nandlall & Associates, the legal counsel for the importer, signalling their intention to withdraw legal proceedings against the GA-FDD as previously stated publicly after the department would have exposed the importer’s malfeasance.

An appeal is being made for all importers to ensure the correct documentation, channels and / agencies are utilised for importation processes. It said stringent measures are being implemented to increase our oversight and to eliminate these practices that may result in the release of substandard items on the local market.