Biosecurity Solomon Islands (BSI) is a Department of the Solomon Islands Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, it seeks to:
Ensure the safe import and export of plants and animals to protect our people, agriculture, economy and environment. BSI works inside, beyond and at our borders to reduce risks from pests and diseases.
BSI operates under a Director of Biosecurity and two Deputy Directors, its duties are mandated under the Biosecurity Act 2013 and the Biosecurity Regulations 2015. The Deputy Directors are responsible for the two basic Divisions of BSI namely:
- Operations (imports, exports and compliance)
- Scientific Operations (Market Access incl. preparation of pest risk analysis, pest surveillance and emergency response)
The Operations Division is the largest by way of staff and has staff posted at all major ports of entry including: Honiara (Point Cruz seaport and Henderson airport), Noro sea port and Munda airport, Gizo, and at Shortland Islands and Lata. These staff are responsible for clearing all incoming vessels and aircraft, cargoes and passengers to ensure all imports are free of biosecurity risk materials. They also carryout inspections and treatments of plant and animal products being exported to ensure they meet the standards required by the importing country.
Staff posted to Shortland Islands and Lata also meet and clear incoming vessels but they are primarily our first line of defence at our borders with our nearest neighbours. In this latter role they carry out public awareness campaigns to ensure Solomon Islanders who cross the open border do so with knowledge of the biosecurity risks involved and how to minimise them.
Within the Operations Division the compliance team is responsible to ensure that both staff and clients follow the correct documented procedures for the safe import and export of all biosecurity risk materials. Where errors are detected they are responsible for correcting these and where necessary prosecuting offenders.
The Scientific Operations Division is a smaller team but of no lesser importance. All staff are based in Honiara, some at Head Office and some at the post entry quarantine laboratory and facilities at Henderson airport.
At head office, the Market Access unit is responsible for negotiating the conditions importing countries require for Solomon Islands plant and animal exports to ensure they are the minimum necessary for the safe movement of biosecurity risk materials and not a hidden barrier to safe trade. The unit is also responsible for gathering and collating intelligence about pest occurrences elsewhere in the world especially in our trading partners. They use this knowledge to ensure our plant and animal import requirements are based on the most up to date pest information and treatment methods and are the minimum necessary for the safe import of biosecurity risk materials.
The Henderson Biosecurity Area, near Henderson airport, is the home for the post entry quarantine laboratory and facilities, and the pest surveillance and emergency response staff. They are responsible for maintaining up-to-date knowledge of the plant pests of Solomon Islands through maintenance of a pest database and regular surveys for new pests throughout the country. They are the first line of defence as soon as a new pest is detected. They are responsible for determining how serious it is and what can be done about it in the short and long term, including whether eradication is possible. They also maintain the post entry quarantine facility in which plants can be held securely while their disease status is checked before they are allowed fully into the country.