CBP Agriculture Specialists intercept several invasive pests.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists (CBPAS) in Portal found mission grass on wood packing material from Vietnam. This weed is an invasive species that spreads by seed and native to tropical Africa. Mission grass is usually used for cattle feed, but can invated cultivated fields and overtake crops.

Besides mission grass, CBPAS in Portal also found several boring beetle trails carved into the wood on one of the pallets holding cargo. Following the trails resulted in finding four live wood boring beetle larvae. CBPAS later identified the larva as longhorn beetles. Longhorn beetles are invasive species that harm the timber industry, wildlife habitats and urban landscapes.

Lastly in Minneosa, CBPAS officers found the exoskeletons of larval khapra beetles. Khapra beetles have larval covered in fine hairs that contaminate the products they infest. Khapra beetles also are difficult to remove – they live up to 7 years without food and are resistant to insecticides.

If you have had your shipment seized for invasive species, contact David Hsu by phone/text for a no-cost or obligation consultation at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP officers find and destroy gypsy moth eggs on coal ship.

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Image of Asian Gypsy Moth Egg Mass, source: CBP.gov

According to a CBP media release, Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists discovered an egg mass of the highly destructive Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) species on a coal freighter at the Port of Baltimore. The freighter, the M/V Mondial Sun arrived from the United Kingdom to take on coal, and previously called on ports in China and Japan during the summer of 2019. Ports in Asia are high-risk ports for AGM. After leaving Baltimore, the vessel was on the way to Japan.

With this harmful pest situation, CBP agriculture specialists removed the egg mass and treated the affected area with a pest spray.

According to Customs, the Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) is one of the most destructive insect pests in the world. AGM are extremely mobile and can lay egg masses yielding hundreds of hungry caterpillars that in turn become other mobile AGM.

In this instance, CBP removed and treated the area where the harmful pests were found. Typically, CBP will discover larvae or the pests themselves inside wood packaging material on cargo ships – if you receive an emergency action notice regarding pests in your shipment – time is of the essence. Contact experienced harmful pest attorney David Hsu immediately by phone/text to 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com

CBP in Houston finds pests inside wood packaging materials.

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Photo of pests, source: cbp.gov

Earlier this week in Houston, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists working at the Houston Seaport found several wood packaging material shipments arriving to the Houston port from March 5 – March 12 containing timber pests that may cause damage to the forest and trees.

All 5 of shipments with the wood packaging material pests were immediately exported and unable to offload in Houston.  CBP along with the Department of Agriculture took samples of the pests and the pests were identified as a bark beetle from the wood wasp family.

All importers should be aware of any shipments in WPM used to brace, secure and support cargo.

If you have a wood packaging materials issue – you may not have to export, contact experienced wood packaging materials attorney – David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Invasive Gypsy Moth Eggs stopped by CBP.

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Image of the seized gypsy moth eggs, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP agriculture specialists found Japanese gypsy moth eggs on ocean freighters.

The eggs were found aboard the “Royal Hope” freighter and were removed by the ship’s crew and CBP agriculture specialists. The affected areas with the eggs were also sprayed by CBP with a pest spray oil.

These Japanese gypsy moth eggs are part of the overall Asian Gypsy Moth that damages trees and plants due to their big appetites. Additionally, the gypsy moth females are very mobile and travel up to 25 miles per day and can also lay egg masses that produce hundreds of hungry caterpillars.

Fortunately, there are no known infestations of the asian gypsy moth.

In the media release, CBP said the “Royal Hope” freighter from Ghent, Belgium was to pick up coal for export and prior to leaving Belgium, the royal Hope made a port call in Japan where they removed adult moths and egg masses prior to issuing a certificate clearing the vessel to depart.

If you or someone you know has received a notice from customs for suspected pests such as the asian gympsy moth (or any other invasive pest), contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP prohibits invasive pests from importation to the US.

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Image of invasive pests, source: CBP.gov

As we enter the holiday season, Agriculture Specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) were busy conducting searches of trucks containing Christmas tree and greenery shipments. Over 200 trucks and 170,000 plant units were inspected, resulting in the interception of more than 350 invasive pests. Two of the invasive pests can be seen in the photo above.

Mid-November to early-December are the busiest times for the importation of trees and greenery used around the holidays. Without the help of CBP Agriculture Specialists, some of those pests may have arrived to certain parts of the US where they do not have any natural predators, resulting in millions of dollars in damage and the loss of large numbers of trees.

Typically if your imported items contain invasive pests, the items will be destroyed and not allowed into the stream of commerce. Our clients frequently encounter invasive pests (such as the wood-boring wasp) and their larve in wood packaging materials (WPM) used in the shipment of breakbulk and other containerized shipping to the US.

If you or anyone you know has had an invasive pest issue with WPM or your shipment is being denied entry into the US due to invasive pests, contact experienced WPM attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP intercepts invasive “almond bug” from Italy.

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Image of the “almond bug”, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) press release, Agriculture Specialist canine alerted CBP officers to a passenger’s bag arriving from from Italy. The Agriculture Specialists inspected the item and found prohibited plant items such as pomegranates. Examination of the pomegranates led to the discovery of an insect that was then sent to the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for identification. The insect was identified as the Monosteira unicostata, or “Almond bug.”

This species of pest poses a serious risk to the $5.3 billion California almond industry. These bugs are typically found in almond trees in the Mediterranean region.

If you have had your shipment seized due to invasive species or had a shipment seized due to invasive pests located in or among wooden packaging materials – contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu to explore options – call/text 832-896-6288 or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP intercepts insects hiding in pumpkin shipment.

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Image of the longhorn beetle larvae, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers and agriculture specialists at the Port of Wilmington, Delaware inspected a shipment of pumpkins from Costa Rica.

During inspection, CBP agriculture specialists found the flower longhorn beetle larvae in wood packaging material. The larvae were sent to the to the U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist and was identified as belonging in the subfamily Lepturinae, or flower longhorn beetles.

According to CBP: “The adult beetles are considered pollinators, but while in their larvae stage they bore beneath a tree’s bark, potentially damage healthy trees.

The importer chose to re-export the pumpkins and wood packaging material instead of destroying the shipment.”

If you have had a shipment seized by CBP due to wood packaging materials (WPM) containing suspected invasive species of pests such as the wood boring wasp or this longhorn beetle – contact experienced wood packaging materials attorney David Hsu by text/phone at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

ISPM 15 violation? Call now.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is increasing enforcement against wood packaging material (WPM) violations.

In short, WPM violations occur when CBP finds wood-boring pets in packaging material. If wood-boring pests or other invasive species are found, CBP will issue an “Emergency Action Notice” for violations of the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM-15).

The EAN will request re-export, however, we can help – call experienced WPM violation and wood-boring pest attorney, David Hsu immediately. We can help you, call anytime, 832-896-6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

WPM violation cases are time sensitive, call now!

Dangers of Wood Packaging Materials (WPM) to your supply chain.

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Wood packaging materials (WPM) and the presence of invasive species puts your supply chain at great risk. As you are aware, CBP has strict regulations regarding the use of WPM in shipping goods from overseas. The regulations are in place to stop the spread of non-US invasive species that may wreak having on the US domestic ecosystem if the species are introduced into the US.

CBP previously has a published tolerance of five WPM violations prior to issuance of a penalty. However, after November 1, 2017, responsible parties with WPM violations may be issued a penalty after only one violation!

Why stop invasive species?
As the name implies, exotic invasive species are frequently brought into the US through use of wood packing materials. Most frequently found are “wood boring” insects that are able to make holes in the wood to lay larve. The species threaten  agriculture, forestry and other ecosystems where there may exist no natural predators.

How does Customs regulate WPM?
Wood packaging materials imported into the US are required to be treated before importation. The WPM must display a visible mark certifying treatment  on at least 2 sides – the mark must also be approved by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) in its International Standards of Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM 15) Regulation of wood packaging material in international trade.

Non-exempt wood packaging material (WPM) imported into the United States must have been treated at approved facilities at places of origin to kill harmful timber pests that may be present. The WPM must display a visible, legible, and permanent mark certifying treatment, preferably on at least 2 sides of the article. The mark must be approved under the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) in its International Standards of Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM 15) Regulation of wood packaging material in international trade.

What if there is a WPM violation?
In the event of a WPM, CBP will issue a “Emergency Action Notification” (EAN) to the responsible party (party whose bond was obligated). The EAN will give the responsible party certain time to comply. Typically the solution may be to re-export the goods for fumigation and then re-import. Re-exporting the goods disrupts your supply chain and

What are the other penalties?
If a party fails to comply with the terms of EAN, CBP may issue a liquidated damages penalty.

Do you have any questions about WPM violations or have you been issued an Emergency Action Notification for WPM violations?

Call experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at: attorney.dave@yahoo.com

Emergency Action Notice for Wood Packaging Materials – Increased CBP Enforcement!

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Since late 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has increased their enforcement of regulations surrounding the use of Wood Packaging Materials (WPM) in shipments entering the US.

In a September 25, 2017 message, CBP began imposing penalties for a 1st violation of the WPM regulations (7 C.F.R. 319.40 – 3). This news is significant as penalties under 19 U.S.C. 1595a or 1592 can be enormous. In addition to these penalties, monetary loss also results from from having to export entire shiploads of cargo, even when just a small portion of it is in violation. Frequent violations in the WPM regulations are regarding improper markings or pests. CBP will always inspect shipments containing WPM for a proper mark and the presence of any invasive pests.

There is a lot of plant construction underway along the Gulf coast. Shiploads of wood packaged steel structures have been halted by Customs at the port and directed to immediately export.

The first indication of a problem is if you receive an “Emergency Action Notice” (EAN) from Customs. The EAN will typically require the immediate exportation of the cargo at great expensive to the importer, the manufacturer and at a great hassle to all parties involved (broker, shipper, forwarder, manufacturer, vendor, seller, buyer, etc!).

If you have received an Emergency Action Notice, contact experienced trade and WPM attorney David Hsu by phone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com. Time is of the essence for these WPM cases and call us for immediate options.