‘Misunderstanding’ behind T&T/Guyana milk trade issue

‘Misunderstanding’ behind T&T/Guyana milk trade issue

A simple ‘misunderstanding’ led to a recent milk trade impasse between Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. 

Products manufactured by Guyana’s Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) were seemingly prohibited from entering the twin-island nation, but Trinidad and Tobago’s Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon yesterday met with representatives from the company and explained the requirements for first-time imports.

She was in Guyana chairing the Fifty-Eighth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) which ended yesterday.

The importation of the products requires an Import Permit be issued for first-time imports of milk from any country, and a Risk Analysis must be undertaken by the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO). 

The milk importation standard is identical to Guyana’s, and the application must be made with the Animal Production and Health Division from the Agriculture Ministry ahead of the products arriving in T&T, and even before items are purchased from overseas exporters.

The local importer was informed by the CVO of the process, and an application was submitted via TTBizlinK for an animal permit.

The consignment of goods which included milk, mineral waters, and flavoured beverages landed in Trinidad and Tobago three days later.

The mineral waters and flavoured beverage items were cleared and sent to the premises of the importer by the Chemistry Food and Drugs Division (CFDD) on the condition that a Free Sale Certificate/Animal Health Permit is produced.

As for the milk products, the Ministry said the importer took the decision to return them to the exporter in Guyana as the requisite regulatory documentation hadn’t been obtained.

To strengthen trade relations between the two nations, a bilateral committee comprising representatives of the public and private sector from Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana will soon be established.

  • PublishedMay 16, 2024

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