NIGERIA AGRICULTURAL QUARANTINE SERVICE


STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SOP)


PREAMBLE
The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service is a regulatory agency under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service has the mandate of protecting the Agricultural economy of Nigeria from the risk of introduction, establishment and spread of exotic pests and diseases of Plants/ plant products, Animals/animal products and Aquatic Resources and their products into Nigeria.

2.0 FUNCTIONS
The Service shall:
1) enforce and ensure compliance with laws, regulations and schedules of inspection as well as import permits, sanitary and Phytosanitary certificates for importation of plants, animals and aquatic resources;
2) intercept and seize all illegal imports and exports of agricultural commodities and regulated materials;
3) ensure that any plant or plant product, animal or animal products, aquatic resources and its products meant for export or export processing, or producing facility that utilizes raw or semi-processed agricultural products must undergo quarantine inspection and certification before packaging and labeling;
4) ensure that any plant or plant products, animal or animal products, aquatic resources and its products intended for export must be declared to the Service at least 24 hours before the time of departure;
5) ensure that any international movement of wood packaging materials including dunnages, crates, pallets shall be subjected to quarantine inspection and certification in compliance with ISPM15;
6) ensure that any international movement of used vehicles, machinery and equipment must be subjected to Phytosanitary measures to prevent introduction of quarantine pest;
7) ensure that all imports of live animals must be subject to quarantine inspection and certification at designated quarantine stations, before release into the national herd;
8) ensure that all plant pests and disease outbreaks, shall be reported to the Service for investigation, treatment, control, prevention and Service shall inform the Honourable Minister for further necessary action;
9) enforce compliance with any legislation on disposal of plants, plant products, animal, animal products, aquatic resources and its products, biologics, and regulated articles at the ports of entry and Agricultural Quarantine Stations;
10) develop pest and animal diseases diagnostic and analytic capabilities and establish laboratories and quarantine stations at such places as may be deemed necessary and encourage and promote activities related to the functions of the Service; with respect to plant, plant products; wild life and wild life trophies and wool product;
11) ensure compliance of acceptable levels of pesticides, mycotoxin, heavy metals, and other contaminants in agricultural produce meant for export; 12) establish the programmes for setting standards and regulations for the prevention, reduction and elimination of quarantine-able diseases, pests and epidemics caused by these diseases or brought about by these pests;
13) enforce compliance with laws, guidelines, policies and standards on agricultural quarantine procedure;
14) coordinate and liaise with stakeholders within and outside Nigeria to ensure compliance with matters of agricultural quarantine standards, regulations and enforcement;
15) enforce compliance with the provision of international agreements, protocols, conventions and treaties on agricultural quarantine, including forestry, endangered species, plants, plant products, animal, animal products, aquatic resources and its products, biologics, sanitation, marine and wildlife, and such other agricultural quarantine agreements as may from time to time come into force such as International Plant Protection Convention, International Office of Epizootics, etc.;
16) enforce compliance with regulations on the implementation and exportation of plants, plant products, animals, animal products, aquatic resources and its products, biologics, , wildlife and wild life trophies, and wood products;
17) conduct agricultural quarantine audit, pest surveys and disease surveillance, containment and eradication programmes of regulated quarantine pests and establish data bank on regulatory and enforcement mechanisms of agricultural quarantine standards;
18) prohibit the use of processes, equipment and materials that are capable of undermining public health, sanitation, and endangering the agricultural economy;
19) ensure compliance with agricultural quarantine control measures using the registration, licensing, permits, inspection and certification systems;
20) enforce compliance through monitoring the agricultural quarantine regulations and standards on plants, plant products, animal, and animal products, aquatic resources and its products;
21) ensure that agricultural quarantine projects funded by donor organizations and external support agencies are carried out in compliance to regulations in plant health, animal and public health;
22) develop agricultural quarantine networks, compile and synthesize data on agricultural quarantine measures compliance from all sectors;
23) enter into agreement with public or private organizations and individuals to develop, utilize, coordinate and share monitoring programmes, research works, data on the effect of various activities as they concern the mandate of the Service;
24) collect and make available, through publications and other appropriate means and in co-operation with public and private organizations, scientific data and other information pertaining to agricultural quarantine measures and standards;
25) charge fees for tests, inspection, investigations, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control and other services performed by the Service;
26) collaborate with relevant agencies in the conduct of public investigation on epidemic, public health and sanitation occasioned by the spread or outbreak of quarantine-able diseases or pests;
27) conduct training and development of staff in the relevant area of competence; and of other relevant agencies (national and international) with the approval of the Board;ensure that authorized officer shall board and inspect any aircraft sea vessels, rail wagons, trucks, or any carriage container, carrying any agricultural product at any of the entry or exit point, such as land borders, interstate control post, airport, sea port, etc.

3.0 STRUCTURE OF THE SERVICE
1) The structure of the Service is as follows:
a. Department of Plant Quarantine
b. Department of Animal Quarantine
c. Department of Aquatic Resources
d. Department of Laboratory Management
e. Department of Planning, Research and Development
f. Department of Finance and Administration
2) Each Department is headed by a Director
3) The Service has Zonal Quarantine Offices and Directorates in five (5) geopolitical zones for effective discharge of its functions

4.0 PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF SOP
1) To provide Stakeholders and the Public in general, with adequate knowledge of NAQS Operations at the Seaports, Ports of Entry and Quarantine
Stations.
2) To serve as a guide for staff of the NAQS with respect to the discharge of their duties at the Seaports.
3) It will also help stakeholders to know their responsibilities to the NAQS.

5.0 ZONAL OFFICES
Application to NAQS for importation of Agricultural Products is done through its five Zonal Offices:
1) South-West Zone – Ikeja
2) South-East Zone – Port Harcourt
3) North-West Zone – Kano
4) North-East Zone – Maiduguri
5) North-Central Zone – Makurdi

6.0 PROCEDURES FOR IMPORTATION/EXPORTATION OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
6.1 Importation of Plants/Plant Products
Plant Quarantine Department of NAQS applies the following Phytosanitary measures to regulate plants/plant products importation:
1) Prospective Importer applies through the Coordinating Director NAQS, to the Director Plant Quarantine.
2) Prospective Importer completes Request for Plant Importation Permit, stating:
• Where the plant material will be used
• Purpose or reason for the importation
• Mode of Transportation e.g. Air, Sea, Land
• Port of Entry
• Supplier’s Name/Address
• Full Name of Importer and Address
• Common Name and Botanical Name of Plant Material/Quantity
3) Application is approved or rejected
4) If application is approved, an Import Permit is processed after Pest Risk Analysis, PRA is carried out
5) Import permit is issued stating all Conditions to be met by the exporting country.
6.1.1 Import Clearance at Port of Entry
1) Plants/Plant Products and Regulated Articles shall upon importation into Nigeria, be subjected to inspection by an Authorised Plant Quarantine Inspector.
2) Authorised Plant Quarantine Inspector will verify that the consignment of plants/plants products is accompanied by an Import Permit and in some cases Phytosanitary Certificate of Country of Export.
3) An authorised Plant Quarantine Inspector may agree to carry out inspection at the final destination after ascertaining that the container is properly sealed with prescribed markings, and upon approval by Customs for the container to be transferred to the facility of the consignee.
6.1.2 Measures taken After Inspection
1) If upon inspection carried out, Authorised Plant Quarantine Inspector verifies that the documentation and consignment comply with the Phytosanitary requirements as stated in the Import Permit, he will issue a Phytosanitary Inspected and Released Certificate.
2) If upon inspection, Authorised Plant Quarantine Inspector determines that the imported consignment is not accompanied by any relevant documentation for Plant Importations or does not meet Phytosanitary requirements established in the Import Permit, or presents any risk for the introduction or spread of pests, the imported plant/plant products will be subjected to:
• Laboratory tests
• Appropriate treatment for disinfection/disinfestation.
• Re-exportation
• Confiscation, or
• Destruction by a means to be specified at the importer’s expense.
6.1.3 Post Entry Quarantine
1) If upon inspection or as may be stated on the Import Permit, the Authorised Plant Quarantine Inspector determines that a consignment of plants/plant products requires further Phytosanitary Screening, he/she will direct that:
• Consignment is moved straight to NAQS Post Entry Quarantine facility.
2) Consignment moved into Post Entry Quarantine facility, will be released after appropriate Phytosanitary Screening/treatment.
6.1.4 Charges for all Imports of Plants/Plant Products
Charges for all Phytosanitary activities with respect to importation of Plants/Plant products will be charged according to the User Fees regime of NAQS.
6.2 Export, Re-export and Transit of Plants/Plant Products.
6.2.1 Export of Plants/Plant Products
Any person seeking Phytosanitary Certification for export or re export of plants, plant products or Regulated Articles from or through Nigeria shall:
1) Apply for Phytosanitary Certificate through the Coordinating Director to the Director Plant Quarantine.
2) Complete application form on Agric. Form 48 and provide following information:
• Company registration number with Nigeria Export Promotion Council.
• Name and Address of Exporter
• Details of plants/plant products intended for export.
• Name and address of consignee in the importing country.
3) If approved, a Phytosanitary Certificate will be issued after Authorised Plant Quarantine Inspector/Inspectors have:
• Thoroughly inspected the consignment or field or storage where consignment will be packaged.
• Carried out treatment with appropriate fumigants.
4) Issued Phytosanitary Certificate will conform to import requirements of the country where plants/plant products will be exported.
6.2.2 Phytosanitary Measures for Re-export of Plants/Plant Products.
1) When a consignment is imported into Nigeria, and then exported to another country, NAQS shall issue a forwarding letter for re-export.
2) NAQS shall only use a letter forwarding the re-export of the imported consignment if it is confident that the importing country’s regulations are met.
3) The original Phytosanitary Certificate or its certified copy shall also accompany the consignment.
4) If the consignment imported into Nigeria has been exposed to infestation or contamination by pests in Nigeria, or has lost its integrity or
identity, or has been processed to change its nature, NAQS shall issue a Phytosanitary Certificate indicating the country of origin instead of a forwarding letter.
6.2.3 Phytosanitary Measures for Transit of Plants/Plant Products
1) When a consignment is imported into Nigeria, but meant for a neighbouring country, Authorised Plant Quarantine Inspector will inspect and obtain copies of all relevant documents including Phytosanitary Certificate.
2) Authorised Plant Quarantine Inspector/Inspectors shall accompany the consignment to the nearest border post between Nigeria and the neighbouring country.
6.2.4 Charges for Export, Re-export and Transit of Plants/Plant Products
Charges for all Export, Re-export and Transit of Plants/Plant products will be according to NAQS approved user fees and will be borne by the exporter. (For the NAQS user fees regime, please visit www.naqs.gov.ng)
6.3 Importation of Animals/Animal Products
1) Apply for import permit to the chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, Area 11, Abuja.
2) Obtain import/export permit for wildlife subject to the acquisition of CITES permit from the Federal Ministry of Environment.
3) Notify Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS) of import permit details.
4) Notify NAQS of the arrival date.
5) On arrival point of entry, make declaration of animal /animal product or consignment for NAQS inspection and certification.
6) Declaration should include the entire document accompanying the animal/animal product and consignment including Sanitary/Health certificate of the animal, documents of port of embarkment, port of disembarkment, country of export, country of destination, purpose of importation etc.
7) NAQS officer verifies the document and consignments as well as the status of animal & animal product at the point of entry.
8) On arrival at the port, NAQS officials conduct visual inspection of animal and animal products. Live animals are sent to the quarantine stations for observation and suspected animal products are lab tested. If satisfied, animal or animal products are released; otherwise animal or animal products are detained for further quarantine action.
9) Quarantine facilities where animals are sent to could be NAQS or owners’ facility where necessary laboratory checks and certification are carried out.
10) For live animals, they must be held for a reasonable quarantine period.
11) If the animal & animal product or consignment does not comply with the above, the importer will pay the appropriate user fees (calculated by NAQS) for further necessary quarantine action.
12) Where an animal is infected with a zoonotic disease, the animal could be seized for further necessary action or destroyed by NAQS at the importer’s expense.
6.4 Exportation of Animals/Animal Products
1) Apply for export permit to the chief Veterinary officer (CVO), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development, Area 11, Garki, Abuja.
2) Notify Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS) of Export Permit details.
3) Notify NAQS of the departure date for necessary quarantine measures before export at the quarantine facility before export, at the owner’s expense.
4) Declaration and animal / animal product or consignment at the point of exit for NAQS inspection and certification.
5) Declaration and verification should include all the documents accompanying the animal /animal product or consignment including Sanitary/health Certificate at the point of exit.
6) If the animal /animal product and consignment complies with the above, it will be allowed for exit otherwise, the following measures will apply: a. Detention until all that is necessary is done
b. Refusal to be exported by NAQS
6.5 Importation of Aquatic Resources/Products
1) All import of aquatic resources into the country must be by a limited liability company registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
2) The certified true copy of the memorandum of Association and Certificate of Registration must accompany all applications.
3) Application to import aquatic resource must be on the letterhead mail of the company. The application will show detail of the intent to import aquatic live fish, the scientific and common / local name of the species to be imported, the quantity, total weight and mode of transportation.
4) The Application should be addressed to:
The Coordinating Director,
Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, Abuja.
Attn: Director, Aquatic Resources Quarantine
5) All imports must be accompanied by valid import permits.
6) Approval to import is subject to the inspection of the intended Holding facilities (farm, tanks, ponds etc) for aquatic resources.
7) There must be a good disposal of wastewater from the facility. Note the wastewater must not be discharged into any natural body of water.
8) The import of aquatic resources must be accompanied with a Health Certificate from the country of origin.
9) Certificate showing that the import is free from area of contagious diseases, parasites, pests, pathogenic organisms and diseases.
10) A written note to NAQS indicating expected date of arrival, port of entry and mode of transportation.
11) All documents relating to imports must be verified on arrival.
12) A sample of import will be taken for quarantining by NAQS – AR officers.
13) DATA Form for every import must be mandatorily filled.
14) Monitoring of aquatic (Live fish) import will be carried out by the NAQS officers for the next three years.
15) The importer must ensure and facilitate the monitoring of imports within a stipulated time and he/she is required to bear the cost of logistics to carry out this function by NAQS quarantine officers.
Compliance requirements for importation of live aquatic products involve the inspection of product country of origin; conduct import risk analysis and quarantine stringent assessment for appropriate level of protection and biosecurity protocol.
16) To achieve the above, it is the responsibility of the importer to bear the cost of logistics and travelling expenses for authorized quarantine fish inspector for source of origin inspection before any import permit can be issued to any prospective importer.
6.5.1 Pre – Arrival
All imports of aquatic resources must be subjected to quarantine regulations in accordance with food safety and biosecurity requirements such as:
i. Inspection of Quarantine Approved places
ii. Availability of Biologics
iii. Issuance of Facility Status Clearance (FSC)
6.5.2 Arrival
i. Inspection of quarantine seal
ii. Physical observation of products
iii. Assessment of water quality
6.5.3 Sample Collection
i. Collection of fish samples according to fish species indicated
ii. Analysis of qualities of current water
iii. Special feed (antibacterial and antiviral feed supplements)
6.5.4 Quarantining of Live Aquatic Products i. Activation of the Franc-Greco quarantine tank upon the arrival of live aquatic products
ii. Introduction of fish sample into quarantine tank
iii. Monitoring of newly introduced fish samples for a period not less than 14 days
6.5.5 Laboratory Analysis
i. Analysis of the current water parameters such as temperature, pH values, salinity content, turbidity and water hardness, presence of carbon dioxide gases, ammonia and nitrite compounds.
ii. Microbiology
iii. Feeds
• Feed composition
• Mycotoxin analysis
• Others
6.5.6 Quarantine Integrity Certificate (QIC)
A quarantine integrity Certificate is issued after all observations on quarantining and laboratory results are confirmed satisfactory. Note: All logistics for sample quarantining is borne by the importer. This includes monitoring budget, accommodation and personal allowances of the quarantine officer.
NAQS will not be responsible for any losses or mortality of products due to delay or negligence or mismanagement of live fish by importer or his agent.
6.5.7 Quarantine Border Inspection
Border inspection is an essential bio-safety measure against the entry of diseased live aquatic animals, products, exotic pests and pathogens that will endanger human and animal lives.
• Seaport inspection: Inspection of documents and conducting organoleptic tests on samples
6.6 Exportation of Aquatic Resources/Products
1) All exports of aquatic resources from the country must be by a limited liability company registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria.
2) Company’s certified copies of memorandum of association and certificate of registration must accompany application for export.
3) Export permit must be obtained after the approval of the applications to export aquatic resources products. Applications to export aquatic resource products must be in company’s letterhead mail. The letter must clearly indicates the intent to export aquatic resources, the scientific, common and local names of the species for export, the total number of aquatic resources and the mode of transportation out of the country.
4) The Application should be addressed to:
The Coordinating Director,
Attn: Director, Aquatic Resources Quarantine
5) The inspection of Quarantine Facilities must be conducted periodically and is a condition for the renewal of export permit.
6) The aquatic resources or other regulated products for export MUST BE accompanied by a Sanitary Health Certified indicating that the product there-in are free from pests and diseases as prescribed by the importing country.
7) All exporters must fill and complete inventory data form at the point of exit.
8) All exporters must repatriate to Nigeria the funds so generated from export of live fish from the country and evidences of repatriation shows in the form of bank statements, Moneygram, Western Union receipts which must be submitted for renewal of export permit for subsequent shipment.
9) All exports must comply with specific requirements of the importing country.
10) Documentation and analyses Form D must be completed for all exports.
6.6.1 Protocol for Intended Export of Aquatic Animals/Products
a) Source of origin inspection i.e quarantine inspection of the production site and processing facilities of the commodities for exports
b) Commodity isolation
c) Monitoring programme
d) Offer of option for export permit
e) Documentation of international Health Certificate, Radio-active free certificate and application for aquatic resource export permit.
f) Inspection compliance audit such as
• Handling and packaging
• Sanitary audit of consignment
• User fee charges at Exporter’s expense
• Way-bill
• Package label
6.6.2 Bio-security Clearance Certificate This is a certificate or a document handed over to an Exporter indicating that all pre-border protocols have been satisfactorily complied with.
It is a final certificate issued by the competent authority for the final shipment of the export commodity. 6.6.3 Requirements for Parcelling of Aquatic Products for Research in Foreign Institutions
i. Application letter must be in letter headed papers of the institution and must state the following
a) Name of product to be parcelled
b) Source of product
c) Method of collection
d) Method of preservation
e) Research work to be done
f) Total quantity of product
g) Description of packaging
ii. A letter of authorization to carry out the Research from the institution.
iii. Certificate of being radioactive free
iv. An Export permit fee is charged for a quarantine permit to parcel aquatic product out of Nigeria.
v. The Application should be addressed to:
The Coordinating Director,
Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, Abuja.
Attn: Director, Aquatic Resources Quarantine

7.0 OFFENCES
It shall be an offence to: a) grow, rear, possess, sell, offer for sale, transport or distribute in any manner any plant, plant product, animal, and animal product, aquatic resources and its products or regulated article knowing them to be imported into Nigeria contrary to NAQS regulations;
b) assault, resist, threaten or willfully obstruct any authorized officer from exercising his lawful function as prescribed by law;
c) failure to comply with any order or directive lawfully made or given under this Act;
d) import any plant, plant product, animal, and animal product, aquatic resources and its products or regulated articles contrary to any requirements prescribed under NAQS regulations;
e) import any plant, plant product, animal, animal product, aquatic resources or regulated articles at a point of entry not specified by the Service;
f) fail to allow a search or inspection authorized under NAQS regulations;
g) knowingly or recklessly provide information which is false for the purpose of obtaining any document as prescribed by law and;
h) alter, forge, deface or destroy any document issued by the service.

8.0 PENALTIES
1) Any person or corporate organization who commits any of the offences stated above shall:
a) on a first summary conviction be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 1 year or fine of 100% of the market value of the plants, plant products, animal and animal products, aquatic resources and its products or regulated articles or both; and
b) on a second summary conviction be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 2 years or fine of 200% of the market value of the plants, plant products, animal, and animal products, aquatic resources and its products or regulated articles or both.
2) In addition, in the case of second summary conviction, the Service may suspend the rights of the person temporarily to import as well as to perform any activities accredited by the Service.
3) In all cases, all plants, plant products, animal, and animal products, aquatic resources and its products or regulated articles imported into Nigeria in contravention of this Act, rules, orders or regulations there under shall be subject to reshipments, confiscation and destruction at owners cost.

PLANT
This department of NAQS protects the cultivated crops and the natural flora from destructive foreign plant pests.. read more

ANIMAL
Health Inspection of export and import if live animals including dogs, cattle, cats, horses, sheep, goats, turkey, poulets/old chicks, eggs, parent stock and pet birds.
...read more

AQUATIC RESOURCES
To take responsibility of controlling and regulating importation, exportation and safety of live aquatic resources through the issuance of import and export permits ...read more