Image of egg pods seized in Houston, source: CBP.gov
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), agriculture specialists from Houston found two dead female Asian Gypsy Moths (AGMs) and 20 Asian Gypsy moth egg masses on the superstructure of an international vessel. CBP was notified of this vessel after they received notification from Japanese inspectors of 52 egg masses and 52 live moths before the vessel departed to the US.
The AGM’s are an invasive species that damages hardwood forests and urban landscapes. CBP says the AGM’s can lay 500-1,000 eggs that become hungry caterpillars, resulting in a potential to defoliate a million acres annually.
When vessels are found to contain invasive pests, Customs requires the vessel and shipment to be re-exported, fumigated, then returned to Houston. According to the media release, the vessel had to depart and return “multiple times” before CBP determined it did not contain AGM or their egg masses.
t of Agriculture (USDA) for identification; the agency confirmed Aug. 2 that the pests were in fact AGM. As required by law, the vessel left the port to receive treatment and to provide verification that it was free from AGM and egg masses.
The vessel had to depart and return multiple times before CBP agriculture specialists determined that it was absolutely free from AGM egg masses.
If you or someone you know has a shipment seized by CBP for containing invasive species or eggs from invasive species, contact experienced trade and customs attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.