By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) is seeking to strengthen the Quarantine Inspection Service at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport.
To that end, MAFSE on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and the International Regional Organization for Plant and Animal Health (OIRSA).
“The general objective of the MOU is to cooperate and collaborate in efforts to strengthen the quarantine inspection service provided by BAHA at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (PGIA) with the use of non-intrusive quarantine inspections,” said a press release by the Government of Belize Press Office.
The Ministry of Agriculture said Minister Jose Abelardo Mai signed the agreement for pre-inspection services at the PGIA.
“Pre-inspection will involve scanning and canine unit intervention for luggage before customs inspection,” said MAFSE.
Under the agreement, two X-ray machines will be installed at the arrival lounge of the PGIA airport to conduct the inspections of all arrival baggage. A canine unit will also operate at the PGIA to assist in conducting the inspections.
“The importance of this service is to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases to Belize,” said the Press Office release.
According to the release, the areas of cooperation include management of the non-intrusive quarantine inspection system, data collection and management, and capacity building.
The agreement was also signed by BAHA Managing Director Zoe Roberson Zetina and OIRSA legal representative Efraín Medina Guerra.