Trinidad amending law that restricts honey importation – Agri Minister


After years of complaints from regional producers, Trinidad and Tobago is amending the legislation that restricts the importation and transshipment of honey from many places including Guyana.

The Twin Island Republic’s Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Avinash Singh told the News Room on Monday that amendments proposed for the country’s Beekeeping and Bee Products Act were taken to the Parliament.

The Order Paper for Trinidad and Tobago’s House of Representatives on Monday shows that indeed, the government intends to propose amendments to the law.

As per this Act, only honey originating from the Windward and Leeward Islands can be transhipped to Trinidad and Tobago. So for years, this meant that Guyana-produced honey, for example, could not be imported into that country or even transhipped there en route to another island.

Minister Singh affirmed, “The honey matter is close to being resolved.”

Once the amendments are greenlighted in Trinidad’s House of Representatives, Singh explained that they will be taken to the Senate for debate. After that debate, the amendments will be enacted.

And once this legislative process is complete, Singh said regulatory bodies would be able to immediately make the changes needed for easier honey importation.

“All of the technical matters have already been reviewed and are ready for implementation,” the Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture Land and Fisheries said.

Guyanese honey producers and private sector stakeholders are among those who spent years calling for an overhaul of Trinidad’s law, particularly since the law, and the impediments to free trade that they impose, are in contravention of CARICOM’s central treaty: the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

Trinidad initially restricted the importation of honey from Grenada and other Caribbean countries over concerns about a potentially disastrous disease of honeybees, the American Foulbrood disease.

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