Invasive and destructive beetle larvae seized by Customs.

Image of the intercepted khapra beetle larvae, source: CBP.gov

According to a US Customs media release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists intercepted beetle larvae found on a shipment of welding wire from China. The larvae were sent to the US Department of Agriculture for testing and identification and identified as Trogoderma granarium Everts or the commonly known Khapra beetle. As a result of identification, the shipment was sealed to prevent potential contamination with other shipments.

According to CBP, Khapra beetles are dangerous pests that pose a risk to grain and other stored seeds. The Khapra beetle is usually located in burlap bags, corrugated carboard boxes and animal hides. Originally from India, Khapra beetles are found in shipments from Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Asia and some parts of Europe.

If you have received a notice of action or if Customs has found a pest in your import – time is of the essence – contact attorney David Hsu for immediate assistance – phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP Agriculture Specialists intercept several invasive pests.

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Photo by Brent Keane on Pexels.com

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

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 Agriculture Specialists in Texas find first discovery of pest in the US.

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Dysschema mariamne Warren (Erebidae), source: CBP

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, agriculture specialists at the Pharr, Texas Port of Entry discovered a rare pest, a first in nation discovery, in a shipment of prickly pear pads.

Specifically, CBP agents found the Dysschema mariamne Warren (Erebidae), a first in nation pest.

The Erebidae was discovered upon an inspection of shipment of pear pads from Mexico. After it was discovered, the U.S. Department of Agriculture entomology laboratory was consulted and the initial identification was later confirmed by a national specialist as Dysschema mariamne Warren (Erebidae). According to USDA entomologists, this pest has never been found at any of the nation’s ports of entry. CBP refused entry to the shipment and returned it back to Mexico.

If you have had a shipment detained by Customs for containing invasive species, or have had a shipment detained due to pests found in wood packaging materials – contact experienced customs seizure and detention attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Houston CBP finds Asian Gypsy Moths and Egg Masses on international vessel.

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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 dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Importer Alert – CBP enforcing wood packaging material regulations.

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Photo by Sascha Hormel on Pexels.com

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers along with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officers in Houston are strictly enforcing the USDA’s prohibition of non compliant wood packaging material (WPM).

Non compliant materials are typically ordered for immediate exportation along with any associated cargo in the same bill of lading. CBP and USDA officers typically find WPM non compliant if evidence of prohibited live insects is found during inspection. If any invasive species such as a wood boring wasp or other insects and larvae are found during inspection, CBP/USDA will issue an Emergency Action Notice ordering the cargo to typically be exported in 7 days for repackaging and/or fumigation.

A finding of noncompliance will have a detrimental impact on shippers, importers, consignees and the resulting delay in reexportation can cause major problems for time sensitive project cargo.

If you or someone  you know has had a WPM issue with the presence of larvae or living insects or if you  have received an emergency action notice – contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at: attorney.dave@yahoo.com

CBP finds invasive Egyptian Locusts from Italy.

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Screenshot of the Egyptian tree locust. Source: cbp.gov

In mid-November, agriculture specialists from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discovered the Egyptian tree locust in the port of Baltimore. The locusts were found in a shipment of Italian wine. As a result of the finding, CBP had the shipment re-exported back to Italy.

The Anacridium aegyptium, or commonly known as the Egyptian tree locust is a leaf feeder and pest to grapevines, citrus, fruit and other vegetable. While the Egyptian tree locust is common in Europe, it is considered an invasive species in the US.

In addition to invasive pests, CBP’s agriculture specialists also work hard to stop noxious weeds and prevent foreign plant and animal diseases from entering the US.

If CBP finds the presence of invasive species in your shipment – you will receive an EAN (Emergency Action Notification) typically requiring you to re-export the shipment and contents. If you have received an EAN, contact experienced trade and customs attorney, David Hsu at 832.896.6822 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com for immediate assistance.