MAQIS always sensitive to import, export of agricultural products

The Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (MAQIS) is always vigilant and sensitive to the import and export activities of agricultural products so as to ensure the country’s biosecurity is guaranteed.

Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said that, as such, MAQIS would continue to step up control and enforcement at the borders, especially at the country’s entry points, to ensure food safety, disease control and the entry of pests that could threaten the country’s agriculture and livestock industry could be curbed.

He added that MAQIS was also always recommended to enhance the efficiency of services to facilitate agricultural trade at the country’s main entry points and, thus, help the country’s economic development.

“MAQIS has also improved the methods of monitoring imports and exports by strengthening standard operating procedures as well as implementing entry control of agricultural products for transit and transshipment purposes,” he said in a statement today.

Earlier, he had visited the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex to see for himself the import and export operations of the country’s agricultural products to Singapore.

Ronald said that from January to October this year, nearly two million tonnes of agricultural goods worth RM3.48 billion had been exported to the republic through BSI and the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex near Gelang Patah.

He pointed out that even the implementation of the Movement Control Order last year did not have a direct impact on the export of agricultural products to Singapore, instead data on export transactions to the republic from the BSI alone showed an increase to 125,151 transactions in 2020 from 56,610 in 2019.

“The increase recorded was 121 per cent, with the number of agricultural exports increasing rising from 279,218 tonnes to 364,012 tonnes. A similar upward trend is expected this year, with transactions up to October having already reached 393,189 tonnes,” he said.

Apart from that, MAQIS has also recorded 37 arrests involving attempts to smuggle in and out agro-food products without permits with an estimated value of RM1.35 million for the period of early this year until Sept 30.

Meanwhile, he said the ministry was finalising several proposed amendments to the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Act 2011 (Act 728) aimed at expanding the scope of powers of MAQIS outside quarantine centres, quarantine stations, quarantine premises involving powers to carry out raids, investigations and detentions outside the country’s entry points.

“The amendments will also strengthen jurisdiction for the purpose of biosecurity control over all agricultural commodities related to import and export activities, inter-provincial transfers as well as transits and transshipment,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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