Invasive snails seized from arriving cargo.

Image of invasive snails, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the Houston Seaport discovered snails known as: Xeropicta krynickii and Monacha cf. syriaca. The snails are an invasive species of pests that can damage crops and are likely to harm US food and natural resources.

The vessel arrived from Israel and CBP found the snails on the interior and exterior of military vehicles being transported within the vessel. Amazing work by Customs agriculture specialists as these snails are only millimeters long and can hide in small crevices for long periods of time.

If your vessel is being detained by CBP for containing invasive pests, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com immediately to start discussing your options.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Customs agent charged with falsifying ship inspection records.

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Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

According to the Virginian-Pilot, a former U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agricultural specialist agent was charged with falsifying ship inspection forms on three separate occasions since 2015.

A CBP agricultural specialist is tasked with checking containers and trucks for agricultural or packaging materials that might contain invasive pests and also check wood packaging materials for larvae or inspects that could impact the native trees and nursery. In short, an agricultural specialist will make sure wood packaging materials, fruits and vegetables arrive into the US pest-free.

According to an indictment filed in the case, former-agent, Carl James Jr. falsified ship inspection forms on two ships: the CMA CGM Dalila and the OOCL Chongqing and one bulk carrier ship – the Pontovremon.

James’ set to appear in court on July 13th.

If you or anyone you know has had their shipment detained due to pests or invasive species found in wood packaging materials, or you have received an Emergency Action Notice (EAN) from Customs or you have had a seizure due to a failed agricultural inspection – contact experienced trade and customs attorney David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at: attorney.dave@yahoo.com.