The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ), Preclearance Offshore Programs (POP) in Jamaica is based at both Norman Manley and Donald Sangster International Airports. We have a compliment staff of six that include an Area Director that oversees the program from APHIS headquarters in Washington, DC. Christopher Prendergast, a Plant Pathologist and First Line Supervisor, Maydene Campbell, Regional Administrative Specialist and Trust Fund Manager for Jamaica and Haiti, Patrick Samuels, an Agronomist and Agricultural Inspector for the Donald Sangster office and Althea Reid, Agricultural Inspector in Kingston, all serve as Foreign Service Nationals.
APHIS Hours – Monday – Friday, 7:15 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Note:The American Embassy is closed on all Jamaican and U.S. holidays).
Telephone: (876) 924-8741; Fax: (876) 924-8742
APHIS officers represent the United States Department of Agriculture by managing the Pre-Clearance Program, which is a facility available to formal exporters of traditional and non-traditional exports. The Pre-Clearance Program ensures that exports leaving Jamaica for the United States market are inspected and declared appropriate for export to the US. After doing so, a 203 Pre-Clearance Certificate is completed which will indicate to the PPQ officer in the United States that:
- The goods have been packed and cleaned according to US standards,
- They are pest, soil and disease free,
- They will be of no threat to America’s Agriculture.
The Program was set up to supplement the efforts of the Plant Protection and Quarantine in the US to intercept pathogens before they leave the country of origin. APHIS officers perform inspections, oversee fumigation facilities in Kingston, sponsor training for Ministry of Agriculture staff and by extension supervise the Jamaican Quarantine Officers who also Pre-Clear commodities in the absence of APHIS officers.
The program, which is beneficial to the American agricultural economy, also proves advantageous to the Jamaican exporters. The exporter reduces risk in that he/she does not experience losses from transporting the commodities only to discover that they are rejected at the port of entry. If this were to occur the exporter would also have the added expense of re-exporting, incinerating or fumigating.
Both parties win in the end. It is therefore in the best interest of both governments to maintain the Pre-Clearance Program. For the United States of America, the risk agricultural losses would soar in the absence of APHIS supervision. For Jamaica, the continued use, by exporters, of the Program would ensure an eventual increase in exports and therefore increased foreign exchange earnings.