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MAF imposes conditions to prevent the Little Fire Ant entering Samoan borders

APIA, SAMOA – 18 JULY 2023: The Ministry of Agriculture has imposed precautionary conditions to prevent the Little Fire Ant from entering Samoan borders.

This is despite the lifting of the temporary suspension of import permits for cut flowers from American Samoa. Qurantine advised last night that surveillance notification from the relevant Authorities in American Samoa on the presence and spread of Little Fire Ants (LFA) (Wasmannia auropunctata) has been contained and controlled through treatment measures.

The suspension of import permits for nursery stock i.e. planting materials from American Samoa remains. Further, the suspension of import permits for Hawaii and other countries with the presence of LFA remains in effect.

The advisory is for all importers to adhere to the following precautionary conditions to prevent the LFA from entering Samoa’s borders.
a. Apply for a permit to import cut flowers from the Quarantine Division.
b. Each consignment to be treated, inspected and certified by the American Samoa Department of Agriculture-Plant & Quarantine Service prior to import.
c. Each consignment must be secured (i.e. made insect-proof) prior to shipment by one of the following methods:
i. Enclosed cartons (goods must be packed in fully enclosed cartons that no ventilation holes and lids tightly fixed to the base).
ii. Cartons with covered ventilation holes covered (ventilation holes must be covered with mesh/screen with an aperture no greater than 1.6mm or ventilation holes must be taped over).
d. All consignments will be subjected to Quarantine procedural inspection upon arrival into Samoa.
e. If live insects of quarantine concern are detected, the consignment will require treatment, re-exported or disposed of at the importer’s expense.