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.

 

CBP encounters first-in-US wood-boring wasp species.

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This past Thursday, agriculture specialists at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Baltimore found a first-in-the-US species of wood-boring wasps – the Urocerus augur Klug (Siricidae).

These wood-boring wasps are known to bore holes in trees and lay their eggs. From your author’s experience on wood-boring wasps, the wasps usually bore holes in dead or dying trees. However, when these wood-boring wasps are in the US, they tend to bore holes in living trees and then laying eggs, which eventually causes the tree to die.

In Baltimore, CBP/agriculture specialists were inspecting a shipment of aluminum coils from Greece and discovered the wasps and boring holes in the wood packaging material (WPM). A sample was sent to USDA entomologists for identification.

In general, WPM with invasive pests are required to be re-exported. If you or someone you know has had an issue with WPM certification or re-exportation of goods due to pests, contact David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com. Before you re-export, contact David Hsu, there may be some alternatives to re-exporting that will save you time and money!

German metal producer claims CBP violated due process.

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This past Sunday, German metal manufacturer (Andritz Sundwig GMHB) claims the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of violating its due process rights when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ordered the export of the company’s bug-infested cargo instead of allowing the shipment to be fumigated.

In an emergency complaint filed with the U.S. Court of International Trade, Andritz’s legal counsel (Scott Johnston and James Hurst of Givens & Johnston PLLC and Stacey L.Barnes of Kearney, McWilliams & Davis PLLC) claims CBP’s decision to require the cargo to be exported does not allow Andritz any administrative remedies or opportunities to appeal.

The filing with the CIT claims CBP denied Andritz’s request to fumigate its cargo after horntailed wasps were found in the wood packaging materials (WPM).

Upon notice of a pest infestation, Andrtiz hired fumigators and requested last Friday for CBP authorization to fumigate and separate the infested WPM. Unfortunately, CBP denied those requests and requested exportation of the cargo on Sunday.  In response, Andritz filed a temporary restraining order in addition to a request for declaratory relief along with a temporary protective order on Monday.

More updates will be posted as available.

If you have received an “Emergency Action Notification” from Customs regarding wood packaging materials and or pest infestation, contact attorney David Hsu for immediate assistance at 832-896-6288. Time is of the essence when an EAN is received, call or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com as soon as possible.

Got bugs? CBP vigorously checking ports and looking at wood packaging materials – did you receive an EAN?

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If you are importing anything into the Port of Houston (or any sea port) please be advised CBP is increasing scrutiny of cargo and solid wood packing materials for pests.

Last November, Customs changed the penalty provisions for violations of shipments that do not comply with wood packaging material regulations. Wood packaging materials (WPM) are required to meet the “Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade”. The PDF of the regulations can be found here (last accessed July 13, 2018).

What is Wood Packaging Materials (WPM)?

-Hardwood or softwood packaging
-Created using glue, heat, pressure, or a combination of all three
-Used to support, protect or carry an item
-Examples include pallets, skids, containers and crates.

In other words, the definition is very broad – call our office if you want to verify your materials are considered “wood” packaging materials.

WPM violations include:

(1) markings not approved by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC);
(2) WPM not stamped in accordance with the ISPM 15 standard;
(3) WPM that is infested.

If there are any WPM violations, Customs will send you an Emergency Action Notification (EAN) and in most cases Customs will ask you to export the violating items.

If you receive an EAN for any WPM violations, contact customs attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Any Customs case involve pests or WPM are time sensitive and you have to act fast – do not hesitate to contact our office.

Change in Penalties for Wood Packaging Material (WPM) Violations.

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Under previous U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) guidelines, importers could have five (5) wood packaging material violations in one year before being penalized. Unfortunately, according to a Frequently Asked Questions page on the CBP website found here, as of November 1, 2017, any importer, carrier, or bonded custodian can now be liable for a penalty in the first instance of a wood packaging material violation.

If you are an importer, carrier, bonded custodian or any other responsible person who received an Emergency Action Notification (EAN), give our office a call first. We can discuss ways to mitigate the penalty and other methods to protect you. Call David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com for a free and private consultation.