Wood Packaging Material Dangers – not just pests.

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Photo by Brent Keane on Pexels.com

I frequently post about pests, larvae or other wood-boring and non wood-boring insections in wood packaging materials (wpm) that cause most of the problems. However, the other unknown danger not frequently reported is another risk of using WPM – the missing IPPC 15 stamp.

IPPC is short for the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) 15 stamps. IPPC stamps are used to certify the wood packaging material has been treated with approved measures prior to shipment. Untreated wpm can result in insects and larvae to burrow into the wood materials prior to shipment and escape the ship or port once the shipment arrives.

In general, an IPPC 15 stamp needs to be visible and meet the approved design standard. The most recent standard is from May 2017 and can be found at the IPPC website here (scroll down to number 15). If you are importer, you must ensure the foreign shipper is in compliance with the IPPC standard if WPM is used. This is often forgotten among first time importers.

In May, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists in New Orleans found two shipments from Brazil that were not in compliance with the IPPC standard as the stamps were missing. Due to the non-compliance, the shipments were re-exported back to their respective countries, Brazil and Suriname.

While the shipment in May was re-exported, CBP may sometimes allow for manipulation and other remedial measures depending on the situation. Call David Hsu to discuss your options – 832-896-6288. You can also text at the same number.

Failure to meet IPPC 15 standards for WPM is a serious problem and can lead to delays, fines, penalties and a lot of unhappy people who are relying on the timely delivery of your shipment. If you have a WPM issue, or want to be sure you are in compliance with the IPPC 15 standard, call David Hsu by phone or text at 832-896-6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com anytime. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Small insect equals big Customs problem.

wooden pallets
Photo by Brent Keane on Pexels.com

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agriculture Specialists in California intercepted a shipment of antique terracotta roof tiles from France due to an infestation of wood boring pests. Specifically, CBP found the longhorn beetle known scientifically as the Arhopalus sp. (Cerambycidae). The larvae of the longhorn beetle are known as roundheaded borers and bore into wood, causing extensive damage to the tree and to other untreated wood.

In this seizure, Agriculture Specialists were able to locate the beetles due to fresh “frass”, a powdery sawdust that falls to the ground from the boring activity of the larvae and beetles.

As you are aware, if Customs finds invasive species or other pests, CBP will issue an Emergency Action Notice (EAN) and re-export the goods for fumigation or heat treatment. Afterwards, CBP will issue a civil penalty to the importer.

If you have received an Emergency Action Notice, there may be some alternatives instead of re-exportation. Contact David Hsu by phone/text or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, 832-896-6288 to discuss your options.

CBP finds Asian Gypsy Moths (AGM) in Portland.

AGM egg mass, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists in Portland, Oregon found three Asian gypsy moth egg masses in mid-October. The egg masses typically contain hundreds of eggs that will hatch. The issue is AGM are an invasive species that are highly mobile – being capable of flying up to 25 miles and eat the leaves of more than 500 different species of trees.

The AGM egg masses were found on a foreign flag merchant vessel coming from an area known to be a high risk for AGM. CBP will typically remove the egg mass and then the entire vessel was treated with a pesticide. After fumigation, CBP will then re-inspect the vessel and approve whether or not to process the cargo.

If you have had your shipment detained by Customs for AGM or other pests found in wood packaging materials contact David Hsu immediately. Time is of the essence in WPM/pest cases as CBP will ask the importer or shipper to re-export immediately. Contact David Hsu by phone/text immediately at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Argentine Moth and Asian Gypy Moth eggs found on multiple vessels.

AGM egg masses, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists confirmed samples of various egg masses seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) did in fact contain the first instance in the US of the Argentine moth egg species.

The egg masses were found on the M/V Star Kinn and was the first time the Argentine moth species was found to be in the United States. The other egg masses of the Asian gypsy moth (AGM) were found on a shipping container of aluminum billets from India.

Asian Gypsy Moths (AGM) are one of the most destructive insect pests in the world. AGM are not known to occur in the United States. AGM are highly mobile and can travel 25 miles per day while laying eggs that yield hundreds of caterpillars with big appetites. To make matters worse, the AGM are not selective and attack over 500 different types of trees and plants.

If you receive a Notice of Action from CBP or from the Port with a notification that invasive species, or pests have been found on wooden pallets, wooden packaging material or eggs and larvae found in various parts of the shipment – contact experienced wood packaging material attorney David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.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.

CBP intercepts destructive long-horned beetles.

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Spondylindinae (Cerambycidae) larvae, source: CBP.gov

According to a CBP media release, CBP Officers in Baltimore intercepted the long-horned beetle larvae species known as Spondylidinae (Cerambycidae). According to Customs, the Long-horned beetle larvae are voracious wood borers that can cause extensive damage to living trees or untreated lumber.
After discovering the larvae, CBP issued an EAN (Emergency Action Notification) requiring the importer to re-export the shipment. Additionally from our experience, CBP will also issue a civil penalty for non-compliant wood packaging material.
This seizure in Baltimore is just a typical day for CBP, where CBP agriculture specialists across the nation seize approximately 4,552 prohibited plant, meat, animal byproduct, and soil, and intercepted 319 insect pests at U.S. ports of entry per day.
If you have had a wood packaging material penalty notice, or have received an Emergency Action Notification, contact experienced customs attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by  email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Baltimore CBP stops Asian Gypsy Moths from entering US.

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CBP agriculture specialists removing egg mass, source: cbp.gov

Last week, CBP agriculture specialists at the Port of Baltimore detected over 120 egg masses across 4 different ships.
The Asian Gypsy Moth or AGM for short is a destructive invasive insect pests that is not typically found in the United States. CBP agriculture specialists at Baltimore have intercepted over 120 of the AGM egg masses since July of this year.
The AGM, scientifically known as the Lymantria dispar asiatica/japonica, pose a significant threat to the national forests and urban landscape because they are very mobile and can travel up to 25 miles per day- laying egg masses that produce hundreds of hungry caterpillars.
If you have had a shipment seized, detained or requiring re-export for fumigation – call experienced pest and invasive species attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com – there may be some other options available besides re-export. Time is of the essence in bug cases so call now!

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.

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.