Fears over North American influx of Asian Gypsy Moth

mothVessels arriving at North American ports this summer will be subject to strict regulations over fears of an influx of the pest Asian Gypsy Moth.

Maritime services provider Inchcape Shipping Services said regulations had been issued by the US Department of Agriculture and Canadian Food Inspection Agency because the risk of introduction of AGM into North America from Far East Russia, Japan, Korea, and Northern China is considered to be high for 2013.

Asian Gypsy Moth is a serious pest that can be carried on the superstructure of ships and cargo and is prevalent in some seaport areas. US and Canadian authorities intercepted a large number of vessels with AGM egg masses arriving in North America last year.  Where vessels arrive without the required AGM documentation or on detection of AGM there can be significant delays in cargo loading or discharging activities. ISS is warning that it is the responsibility of shipping lines to meet all requirements for entry to the US and Canada. 

Vessels must arrive at North American ports with required pre-departure certification and free of AGM. For vessels which have called on areas regulated for AGM during the specified periods below, several measures are required as follows:

Vessels must be inspected and obtain pre-departure certification from a recognized certification body located in a regulated area and forward a copy of the certificate, stating that the vessel is free of Asian gypsy moth life stages, to their US or Canadian agents. The inspections should be performed as close to departure time from the regulated port as possible. 

Vessels must arrive to North American ports free from AGM. To avoid facing inspection delays, re-routing and other potential impacts associated with mitigating the risk of entry of AGM to North America, shipping lines should perform intensive vessel self-inspections to look for, remove (scrape off) and properly dispose of or destroy all egg masses and other life stages of AGM prior to entering US and Canadian ports.

Vessels must provide two year port of call data, at least 96 hours prior to arrival at a North American port, to the Canadian or US agent. The agent will ensure that this information is provided to US and Canadian officials.

The US and Canada are in full agreement on the requirement for AGM pre-departure certification and vessels arriving free from all AGM life forms (egg masses, pupae, adults), although due to sovereign regulations and policies, there are differences in port-of-entry processes between the two countries.  Local inspection authorities in the port of entry should be contacted for any questions regarding AGM import requirements or clearance procedures.