Agriculture issues policy on importation of meats

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources on Wednesday clarified any “misconceptions” that the public may have as it relates to the requirements to import meat into The Bahamas for personal and commercial use.

“First and foremost, it is important to note that the laws and policies have not changed,” outlined a statement released yesterday from the ministry.

“The policies that are currently being enforced have been in effect for years and apply to every island in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”

The Ministry of Agriculture said all households are entitled to import meats for personal consumption up to 50lbs total per person of meat without an import permit.

The meat must be accompanied by a bonafide invoice from a reputable distributor, which would signify that it is fit for consumption, and the party or person importing the meat must take responsibility for their own package, cooler, bag or the like.

“Meat being imported for fundraisers, weddings, funerals, or other rare special events require an import permit, meat certificate, invoice, and event notice prior to the importation of the meat. In these cases, only 10 cases of meat in total is allowed” the statement read.

The ministry said meat imported commercially require a certificate of good standing from the business (this proves that the entity has a business license and their company is active), an import permit, a meat certificate and the invoice for that order.

“All import permits should be procured before an order is made and not on the day of arrival, nor the day after arrival of the meats,” the ministry said.

“Permit applications are subject to a processing time of 24 hours and should be scrutinized for corrections or amendments prior to the arrival of the shipment. All imports are subject to inspection upon arrival at the ports of entry.”