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.

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.

CBP stops invasive Scarab beetle pests from entering the US.

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Scarab beetle, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists in Florida stopped several invasive pests from entering the US – specifically the scarab beetle and heteroptera. The scarab beetle can infest and destroy crops while the heteroptera is known to damage plant roots.

According to the CBP media release, agriculture specialists in 2018 seized on average 319 pests at U.S. ports of entry and 4,552 materials for quarantine: plant, meat, animal byproduct and soil each day!

If you have had a Customs seizure due to an infestation of pests or wood-boring insects in wooden packaging materials – contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.