15 November 2012

South Africa: Afcon Teams, Fans Must Declare Agricultural Products

Pretoria — All national teams and their supporters who will be coming to the country during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) soccer tournament have been advised to declare imports of animals and animal products before entering South Africa.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, all imports of animals and animal products, plants and plant products, honey and honey products as well as any other regulated goods may only be imported into South Africa by means of an import permit, unless exempted, and must be declared with the department's inspectors for inspection at ports of entry before entering South Africa.

These import control measures are aimed at preventing the introduction, establishment and spread of pests and diseases from other parts of the world.

A total of 32 nations will be battling it out at the Afcon tournament next year, where thousands of visitors from participating nations are expected to flock to the country to support their teams for the duration of the event.

Acting Chief Director for Stakeholder Relations and Communications at the department, Steve Galane, said inspectors from the department would be conducting luggage and consignment inspections at the ports of entry by means of visual inspections and sniffer dogs to ensure compliance with the import permit requirements.

He further warned soccer fans that the importation of certain alcoholic products with an alcohol content of more than one percent into the country for drinking purposes was restricted, except on the authority of an import certificate issued by the department. This excludes beer, sorghum beer and medicine.

"Conditions may differ according to the country of export, global pest distribution, type of products, etc. Travellers are therefore advised to call the department for further information regarding the requirements for the products to be imported," he said.

All the consignments must be presented at the port of entry for such inspection as the executive officer regards as necessary. The consignments may not be removed from the port of entry without written authorisation or before being granted entry by the department.

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