More than 78 tons seized since May 2016

Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority seizes banned vegetables

More than 78 tons of banned vegetables -worth 7.9 million Bhutanese Ngultrum (100,000 euros)- were seized following the ban of green chilli, cauliflower and beans in the country since 2016. The Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority temporarily banned cauliflowers and beans in May 2016. Following this, green chillies were also temporarily banned, due to high pesticide content.

The Authority’s director general, Namgay Wangchuk, said that according to the revised food rules and regulations, the seized vegetables are charged at 10 times the local rate. “To calculate the fine on vendors, we consider the rate of the vegetables in the local market.”

According to kuenselonline.com, an amount of some 4 million BNU (50,000 euros) was imposed for illegal import of banned vegetables in Phuentsholing. A fine of 2.7 million BNU (34,000 euros) was charged in Thimphu and 1.1 million BNU (14,000 euros) in Gelephu, all collected as penalty for illegal vegetable imports.

Namgay Wangchuk said there are probably many more illegal imports, because they suspect there is a seizure rate of 1 in 20 cases.


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