GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Part of the responsibilities of the Inspection Department TEZVT - Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (LVV) which is part of the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications, includes the issue of pre-entry application forms and the inspection of agricultural, animal and seafood products when they arrive in the country. Sint Maarten as part of the Caribbean community is obligated to comply with international laws, rules and regulations.
The Inspection Department TEZVT - LVV informs importers of agricultural, animal and seafood products that approved import rules and guidelines have to be followed. These conditions have been implemented to protect human, animal and plant health. The process and forms have been approved by the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications.
Businesses and individuals desirous of importing agricultural, animal or seafood products must fill out and submit an import application form. This must be done at least five (5) working days prior to the arrival of the produce and will give adequate time for the preparation of the import permit.
It is the duty of the importer to secure his/her permits prior to the arrival of their produce and to ensure that their products are accompanied by necessary Sanitary or Phytosanitary certificates. Products or produce not listed on the application but which appear on the aircraft or ship manifest will be subject to additional control measures.
Importers must request the necessary forms in order to comply with the import conditions. The forms must be filled completely as they address food safety and environmental protection issues.
Businesses and individuals importing agricultural products from within the region also have to comply with enhanced import protocols that have been put into place at our port border control points.
Prior to any produce leaving an inter-island vessel, TEZVT inspectors will first check if all paperwork is in order; an inspection of the produce will be carried out; and once everything is in order, only then will the importer/distributor will be allowed to approach the vessel and take away the products for sale.
The measures are to identify and mitigate potential risks to the country; contribute to global food security by meeting our international obligations; and ensure community well-being.
The Inspection Department TEZVT- Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (LVV) office is located at Zoutsteeg nr. 3, Philipsburg, in the building that houses the Department of Economic Licenses. The office can be reached by calling 543-7820 ext. 148 for further information.