The Falklands are free from many of the pests and diseases which are common in other parts of the world. We have strict biosecurity procedures in place to keep it that way. The Department of Agriculture’s role is to help you meet those requirements.
The Falkland Islands are a remote and ecologically sensitive archipelago. Largely dependent on imports to satisfy their needs for everything from fruit and vegetables through to building materials and vehicles, biosecurity is an important issue. Furthermore, the Islands’ economy is based on fisheries, tourism and agriculture, all of which could suffer from the introduction of a new pest, disease or invasive species.
The Falklands economy is developing rapidly with growth in tourism and the exploration for oil & gas is well underway. However, along with this growth the risk of unwanted species or pathogens being introduced has increased. Since 2002 the Falklands Islands have been EU accredited for the exportation of mutton and lamb and approval to export beef has recently been achieved. Countries to which we export goods must be assured that the commodities received are free from pests and disease and so biosecurity plays a key role in safeguarding the export industry.
Imported goods are categorised into groups depending on their perceived biosecurity threat. The import of higher risk items is controlled to ensure that threats to the Islands’ biosecurity are minimal. Some categories of import may require an Import Permit such as live animals, meat, dairy products, eggs and plant materials, which include fruit and vegetables. *Note that there are some exceptions under Personal Imports.
If you wish to import products of animal or plant origin, further information can be found in our Importers Guide or contact us directly. There are a number of items, which can be imported without an import permit but are monitored and may be subject to inspection. These include vehicles, seeds, animal feed, wood, building materials, used shearing or agricultural equipment, used outdoor sports equipment, compost, sand and aggregates.
Personal Imports allow people to bring certain low risk food items with them to the Falklands. These can include fruits, meat, dairy products and eggs, furthermore import permits and sanitary certificates are not required – conditions apply, see details below.
Fruit will be subject to inspection and will be confiscated if the above criteria are not met.
Meat, Eggs & Dairy Products
Food Of Animal Origin (FOAO) such as meat, meat products, eggs and dairy products may also be brought in to the Falklands as a Personal Import providing the they are sourced from the EU, in sealed packaging and do not exceed 5kg in total. Furthermore the following requirements must be met:
Please also see our FOAO Import leaflet - English / Spanish (Español)
Vehicles, Machinery and Mobile Homes
As part of an ongoing process of improvement and revision of import requirements, the Department of Agriculture has issued a revised import health standard for vehicles, machinery and mobile homes. It is hoped that the Standard will benefit stakeholders in providing clear and concise information about the requirements vehicles must meet before entry to the Falkland Islands, and help mitigate biosecurity risks associated with used vehicle imports.
Guidance Document339.54 KB
Import Health Standard209.53 KB
The Department of Agriculture monitors all imports. Failure to comply with correct import protocols will result in goods being confiscated and ultimately they may be destroyed. Any costs involved in remedial treatments of imports or for destruction will be the responsibility of the importer.
Travelling to the Falklands
If you are travelling to the Falkland Islands by air, you will be required to fill in a biosecurity/customs declaration form. As some diseases can be transmitted via fomites or vectors, persons entering the Islands must declare countries they have visited in the last month.
Outdoor clothing, shoes and equipment should be cleaned and checked for the presence of seeds and other organic material before departure to the Falklands and once in the Falklands the process should be repeated before moving between wildlife sites. Furthermore used shearing and other agricultural equipment, work wear and boots must be thoroughly cleaned prior to arrival in the Falklands or being used on a Falklands farm.
If disinfectant foot baths are provided at airports, airstrips or settlements please ensure you use them.
Used fishing equipment may carry harmful aquatic algae or pathogens and should be thoroughly cleaned before leaving home. More information can be found here (fishing equipment andTrout Fishing Poster).
Biosecurity also incorporates control procedures and/or eradication against harmful organisms which are already present in the Islands. The Department of Agriculture has been working with Falklands Conservation to control and eradicate invasive species, such as thistles. The work on invasive species has now been incorporated into the much larger Invasive Species Programme co-ordinated by the South Atlantic Regional Invasive Species Project.
Disposal of International Catering Waste
International catering waste (ICW) is considered to be food, galley waste and associated packaging sourced from outside of the Falkland Islands EEZ. ICW carries a risk of introducing pests and diseases and must be disposed of accordingly; either by incineration or through deep burial. Food waste may be disposed of at sea according to MARPOL regulations, but packaging will need to be either incinerated onboard or disposed of ashore.
Facilities for disposal of ICW are limited and expensive, and we would ask you to make all efforts to minimise the ICW that requires disposal ashore in the Islands.
For vessels visiting FIPASS, ICW must be sealed in plastic bags and placed in the designated yellow ICW / Galley Waste bin. For yachts at other moorings, ICW must be sealed in the yellow biohazard bags issued to you by Customs upon entry to the Falklands. Customs will collect the bags for safe disposal upon clearing your vessel to depart. Alternatively ICW can be disposed of at the Department of Agriculture, in the black bin situated in the corner of the car park (a sign indicates the bin is for biosecurity material).
Department of Agriculture Bug Website
www.bugs.co.fk website is there for people to submit their own findings of any insects, spiders, plants, pests or diseases. These records will instantly appear here at the DoA and serve as both a useful way of collating information and improving our knowledge about the micro fauna of the Falklands. Furthermore they will serve to give us an early warning of new,potentially invasive species. We are hoping the website will serve as a useful resource for anybody with an interest in Falklands wildlife or wishing to identify a find. The website is still in development and other possible uses keep emerging. One potential use would be to track the spread of invasive species (such as calafate and earwigs)or even to show how crop pests spread from place to place. We would welcome your thoughts on the functions of the website and would encourage you to start submitting your findings straight away.
Get involved— Submit your bugs!
~ If you have any other queries regarding bringing items into the Falkland Islands or other biosecurity queries, then please contact us.