RM1.2mil worth of oats in 40 containers quarantined in Butterworth

A total of 40 containers with milling oats seized since December last year after they were brought in without a phytosanitary certificate. (MAQIS pic)

GEORGE TOWN: A total of 40 containers containing 1,025 metric tonnes of milling oats from Australia worth RM1.24 million have been placed under quarantine after the importers failed to produce a phytosanitary certificate.

The certificate is usually produced by the plant inspection authority of the country of origin to prevent a possible spread of pests and to ensure strict hygiene standards. The certificate is required before a consignment can be brought into the country.

In a statement, Malaysian Department of Quarantine and Inspection Services (MAQIS) said two containers filled with the grain was put on hold at the Butterworth port on Dec 28, followed by another 38 on Jan 6.

State MAQIS director Zarina Ramli said the Western Australia Milling Oats was brought in without the phytosanitary certificate which was against the MAQIS Act 2011 which carries a fine of RM100,000 or six months’ jail if convicted.

“The certificate is important to prevent the spread of pests and diseases from plants through international trade. We would like to remind all importers that proper certification is needed before any plant produce, such as grains, can be brought into the country.”