FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Residents were on Wednesday, November 28, reminded that importation of meat is limited to 50 pounds for private consumers.
The reminder came during a joint press conference between the Departments of Agriculture, Environmental Health and Customs.
Mike Flowers of the Agriculture and Marine Resources added that none of the policies being enforced are new. “As it pertains to personal consumption and the importation of meat, householders are entitled to import a total sum of 50 pounds of meat without an import permit. However, they must utilize a viable bonifide distributor that would be Whole Foods, Sam’s Club or Walmart, so that we know that the food is fit for consumption.
“The meat must also be accompanied by the person or party importing the meat as well.”
Consumers are warned that if the amount is well over 50 pounds, the meats will be confiscated.
The importation of meat for special events, such as funerals or fundraising events, need to be accompanied by a permit, a meat certificate and the invoice of purchase and the total amount for this is 10 cases per person.
Commercial importation of meat must be accompanied by a business license, certificate of good standing, permit, meat certificate and the invoice for the order.
These permits, he said, should be obtained prior to placing the order and should allow a 48 hour processing time.
Explaining the specifications, Mr. Flowers said, they are as such to encourage local purchases from food stores and convenience stores.
“All imports shall be subject to an inspection by an Agriculture Officer from the Department.”
Dennis Cowan, Senior Health Inspector of Environmental Health Services, said the timely inspection is vital, “to ensure that once those meats and other sensitive food products have been landed, proper inspections are carried out expeditiously.” Once proven safe, he said, the inspector will release the goods to the consignee.
Those bringing in larger quantities of meat will be more scrutinized than those with smaller ones.
Customs Revenue Superintendent, Gregory Jones also noted that consumers will have to pay duty and vat on these items.
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