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.

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.

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.

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.

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.