Speaking to traders at the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji public consultations today, Attorney-General and Minister for Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said countries like Papua New Guinea (PNG) were not honouring the agreement.
He said the three countries of the MSG - PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu had negative lists against Fiji.
"Under the MSG trade agreement signed some time back, all the produce that comes from there - any goods and services that comes from the MSG countries into Fiji, we don't tax them, there's no tariff," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
"There are a couple of anecdotal stories I've heard — for example, Papua New Guinea, they've raised quarantine issues in respect of perhaps even chicken and eggs."
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum told traders the reality was that Fiji wanted to get over the tariff barriers currently in place.
Managing director of Balthan (Western) Ltd Graeme Thorpe who had attempted to export goods to PNG echoed the sentiments of Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.
"They've put up some barriers, which are unrealistic, Biosecurity Authority of Fiji is aware of the situation but unfortunately they don't give us the same credit we give to them under the MSG trade agreement," Mr Thorpe said.
"They're putting all sorts of barriers which are expensive if we have to follow them," he said. However, Mr Thorpe said there had been some dialogue with the PNG authorities" Source: Fiji Times