Plant Protection Division

Introduction

The Plant Protection Act 2016 directs us to regulate the trade in plants, plant products, and other regulated articles, in order to protect and promote the health of the environment (including forestry and wild flora) by preventing the introduction and spread of plant diseases and alien species.

The goals of the Plant Protection Unit are to:

  • improve the current plant health system in accordance with international standards and obligations;

  • develop systems that mitigate the introduction and spread of pests and invasive alien species;

  • promote the use of integrated pest management strategies and reduce dependence on pesticides in the agricultural sector;

  • facilitate safe trade of plants, plant products and other regulated articles;

  • increase public awareness and stakeholder roles in the protection and promotion of plant health; and

  • improve scientific, quarantine, surveillance and diagnostic capabilities and emergency response systems for pest outbreaks.

Core Activities

Core activities of the Plant Protection Division include:

  • Hiring of a Plant Health Inspection Coordinator that is responsible for the planning of the inspection program as well as the management and training of all staff involved in inspection activities.

  • Training of Phytosanitary and Authorized officers that will carry out duties such as: the inspection of plants, plant products or other regulated articles, regulation of phytosanitary measures at borders (ports of entry) and agricultural stations (including plant establishments) for the detection of pests, to prevent their entry into the Bahamas.

  • Participation in the IPPC's Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation (PCE) logical framework tool, as a means of developing a strategy to address key weaknesses and to generate a strategic framework for enhancing the phytosanitary system in the country.

  • Devising a regime that will bring The Bahamas into compliance with ISPM-15 to reduce the risk of the introduction and spread of invasive quarantine pests that results from the usage of wood packaging materials (WPMs) for shipping items globally. Regulations have been drafted that will support the adoption of this International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM).

  • Developing an emergency response plan to swiftly detect, assess, and eradicate critical plant pest and disease infestations; particularly as it relates to the safe provision of aid to prevent the introduction of plant pests during an emergency situation (eg. following natural disasters such as hurricanes that will become more frequent and intense for small island states as a result of climate change).

  • Conducting risk assessments and surveillance for pests that are present in the region and of quarantine/economic importance to the IPPC and for the creation of a prioritized pest list for the country.

  • Initiating a nation-wide Fruit fly trapping, monitoring(surveillance) and identification program and to advise on the Red Palm Mite’s (RPM) population and management on key palm handicraft producing islands.

  • creating/establishing a plant business registration that identifies the owner(s) and location, in accordance with Section 25 of the Plant Protection Act, 2016.

  • Developing Import Conditions for Plant Products The importation of plants, plant products and other regulated articles to prevent the introduction and spread of new and quarantine pests that can cause significant economic and environmental damage to Bahamian agriculture, forestry and the environment and ensure the effective management of regulated nonquarantine pests. Import requirements for key commodities have been drafted.

  • Drafting of Plant Protection Regulations that provide measures for controlling and managing pests depending on the risk they represent from an economic, environmental, social, and agricultural point of view.

  • Adopting CABI's of PestSmart and PlantWise programs to ensure that SPS regulatory and enforcement functions are significantly improved.


International Year of Plant Health (IYPH)

The United Nations declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The Year was extended until 1 July 2021 due to the postponement of some key initiatives caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inspection

Plant establishments must be registered with BAHFSA in order to obtain a business license. Part of the registration process is an annual inspection.

Pesticides Control Board

Pesticides are used mostly in agriculture and public health for the control of pests and diseases. A recent assessment of the country's plant health system, has brought to light the indiscriminate use of pesticides. In keeping with FAO's Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management, BAHFSA as a regulatory body recognizes its responsibility for regulating the availability, distribution, management and use of pesticides along with the development and promotion of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). To this end, BAHFSA is in the process of establishing a Pesticides Control Board and developing a National Pesticide Management Policy that will comply with international standards and result in sustainable growth of the agricultural sector.

The Pesticides Control Board will be tasked tasked with responsibility for licensing, registration, training, inspection and enforcement of pesticide activities that will reduce human health and environment risks and ensure food safety in agriculture production. The Food Safety & Quality Lab will also play a vital role in carrying out formulated pesticide and residual analyses to ensure that agricultural produce is safe for human consumption.

View the Guide to Safe Pesticide Use on the Farm.

Phytosanitary Certificate

Phytosanitary certificates cover the import and export of plants and plant products (eg. seeds, fruits, vegetables, fruit, grain, cut flowers, etc.) globally. They are issued by the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of the exporting country to the NPPO of the importing country, to indicate that consignments of plants and plant products meet the specified phytosanitary requirements of the importing country. The IPPC has created a centralized web-based system known as the Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS) to facilitate the creation of electronic phytosanitary certificates and also to send and receive them; as an alternative to exchanging paper certificates. The GeNS will greatly assist in improving the security of official communications between countries and the trade flows, by enhancing border access of plants and plant products.

Before importing plants and plant based items, you need to apply for an e-phytosanitary certificate through the BAHFSA e-phyto exchange portal https://bs.ephytoexchange.org/.

Visit the IPPC ePhyto Solution - Training Platform.

Pest Risk Analysis

To prevent the entry and spread of pests of plants, it is important to evaluate potential risks and propose technically justified phytosanitary measures to mitigate these risks. In order to formalize this process, the concept of Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) has been developed and used. The aim of PRA is to decide whether pests should be regulated or not as a quarantine pest and propose risk management options.

Pest Risk Analysis: Process of evaluating biological or other scientific and economic evidence to determine whether a pest should be regulated and the strength of any phytosanitary measures to be taken against it (ISPM 5, FAO).

Pest Risk Analyses must be conducted for plant or plant products being requested for importation.

For more information on PRA, please contact the Plant Protection Division of BAHFSA at (242)604-7004; email: [email protected]; [email protected]

Pest Alerts

Regulated Pest List

Regulated Pests of Non-Quarantine Importance

Order

Family

Scientific Name

Common Name

Coleoptera

Curculionidae

Anthonomus eugenii

Pepper Weevil

Diptera

Tephritidae

Anastrepha suspensa

Caribbean Fruit Fly

Anastrepha mombinpraeoptans

West Indian Fruit Fly

Anastreha serpentina

Dark Fruit Fly

*Anastrepha ocresia

*Anastrepha nigrifascia



*Anastrepha interrupta




Toxotrypana curcicauda

Papaya Fruit Fly


Otitidae

*Delphinia picta

Picture-winged Fly

Homoptera

Aleyrodidae

Aleurocanthus woglumi

Citrus Blackfly



Trialeurodes abutilonea

Bandinged Whitefly


Pseudococcidae

Rhzoecus arabicus

Root Mealybug



Pseudococcus microcirculus

Orchid Mealybug


Psyllidae

Katacephala tenuipennis

Jumping Plant Louse

Lepidoptera

Glyphipterygidae

Homadaula albizziae

Mimosa Webworm

Orthoptera

Acridadae

Schistocerca americana

The American Grasshopper

Thysanoptera

Thripidae

Thrips palmi




Paeniothrips eucharii

Oriental Thrips

Pests of Quarantine Importance

Order

Family

Scientific Name

Common Name

Coleoptera


Sternochetus mangiferae

Mango Seed Weevil



Eucepes postasciatus

Scarabee Weevil



Heilipus lauri

Avocado Seed Weevil

Diptera

Tephritidae

Anastrepha ludens

Mexican Fruit Fly


Tephritidae

*Bactrocera papatae

Papaya Fruit Fly


Tephritidae

Bactrocera carambolae

Carambola Fruit Fly



Dacus dorsalis

Oriental Fruit Fly



Ceratitis capitata

Mediterranean Fruit Fly



Ceratitis rosa

Natal Fruit Fly



Dacus tryoni

Queensland Fruit Fly



Dacus cucurbitae

Melon Fly



Dacus aliatus

Lesser Pumpkin Fly



Dacus tsuneonis

Japanese Orange Fly



Dacus oleae

Olive Fruit Fly



Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus

Citrus Greening



Anoplophora glabripennis

Asian Longhorned Beetle

Homoptera

Aleryrodidae

Aleurocanthus spiniferus

Orange Spiny Whitefly


Pseudococcidae

Paracoccus marginatis

Papaya Mealybug



Maconellicoccus hirsutus

Hibiscus Mealybug


Coccoidae

Moganella longispina

Maskell Scale


Diaspididae

Parlatoia ziziphi

Black Parlatoria Scale


Psyllidae

Trioza erytreae (Aleurodes)

South African Citrus Psyllid



Diaphorina citri

Asiatic Citrus Psyllid

Lepidoptera


Attacepha lotes

Leaf Cutting Ants



Megastes grandalis

Sweet Potato Moth Borer



Stenoma catenifer

Avocado Sweet Moth

Orthoptera

Acrididae

Schistocera gregaria

Desert Locust



Polyphagotarsonemus latus

Broad mite

Mollusca

Gastropoda

Megalobulimus oblongus

Giant South American Snail



Achatina fulica

Giant African Snail



Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet



Fusarium oxysporum f.cubens Tropica Race 4

TR4 Panama Disease



Tuta absoluta

Tomato Leaf Miner



Ralstonia solaranaecearum

Races 2 [Moko Disease] & 3



Monilliophthora roreri

Frosty Pod Rot



Candidatus Phytoplasma palmae

Lethal Yellowing of Palms



Xanthomonas axonopodis

Citrus Canker



Fiji Disease (Sugarcane);




Bacterial Panicle Blight (Rice)




Raoiella indica

Red Palm Mite



Rhynchophurus ferrugineus

Red Palm Weevil



Bradybaena similaris

Asian Tramp Snail



Drosophila suzukii

Spotted Wing Drosophila



Veronicella cubensis

Cuban Slug

* - denotes not economically important

View the Safe Use of Pesticides on the Farm guide.

Resources

FAQs

Can I import fruits or vegetables into the Bahamas?

Fruits or vegetables can only be imported into the Bahamas if accompanied by a Valid Import Permit from BAHFSA and the necessary phytosanitary certification requested by the Authority. Additionally, the products may be subjected to Pest Risk Analysis, will need to be inspected by the Quarantine Inspectors at the designated Port of Entry to determine if the commodity complies with the Bahamas’ Sanitary or Phytosanitary requirements. Entry may be refused if the above conditions are not observed.


Can I bring fruits or vegetables in my bag or personal luggage?

Returning residents or visitors entering the Bahamas must declare all agricultural products (including fruits, vegetables, seeds, souvenirs, plants or plant parts, cut flowers, soil, sand, stones, coffee, teas etc.) on their Bahamas Customs forms. Agricultural inspectors will examine your items to be sure they meet entry requirements and do not harbor harmful foreign pests. They also have the authority to make a final determination about whether or not your products can enter the country. Please keep receipts and original packaging of agricultural products as proof of their country of origin.

What should I do if I want to import a product for the first time into the Bahamas?

If you are applying to import a product for the first time then a Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) will need to be conducted. For more information on PRA, please contact the Plant Protection Division of BAHFSA at (242)604-7004; email: [email protected]; [email protected]


Where can I obtain an application form to import a plant or plant product?

You download the Application to Import Plants and Plant Products form on BAHFSA’s website (www.bahfsabahamas.com).

How can I obtain a permit for the import of plants and plant products?

Applicant completes and submits the Application to Import Plants and Plant Products form on BAHFSA’s website (www.bahfsabahamas.com). Applicant pays the relevant fee. After approval, the applicant will be issued with the import permit. Applicant submits import permit and phytosanitary certificate from the exporting country to an Agricultural Officer or Customs Officer at the port of entry. Please note an application for imports of plants, plant products and other regulated articles must be made prior to purchase. Applications are available on BAHFSA’s website (www.bahfsabahamas.com) and are processed for a non-refundable fee of $10BSD (Individual) or $20BSD (Commercial).

How can I request an inspection for a plant establishment?

To request or to arrange for your inspection, please contact the Plant Protection Division of BAHFSA at (242)604-7004; email: [email protected]; [email protected]


Is there a list of regulated pests for the Bahamas?

The list of regulated pests for the Bahamas can be found on BAHFSA’s website (www.bahfsabahamas.com).


How can I report a pest of national interest?

To report a pest of national interest or a regulated pest, please contact the Plant Protection Division of BAHFSA at (242)604-7004; email: [email protected]; [email protected]

Can I bring soil or organic fertilizers into the Bahamas?

An application must be made for soil importation. Please contact the Plant Protection Division of BAHFSA at (242)604-7004; email: [email protected]; [email protected]

*Can I ship plants to plant products to other islands in the Bahamas? (in the future once regulations approved)

In order to move a plant, plant product or other regulated article between islands in the Bahamas, a citizen, permanent resident, or incorporated company will need to apply for a movement certificate granted by BAHFSA at least seven days prior to the intended date of movement. The certificate must be transmitted with the consignment or shipping documents.