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November 23, 09

NEWS / CBP Agriculture Specialists at Texas Ports Intercept Dangerous Pests on 3 Separate Occasions


El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists working at the El Paso and Santa Teresa ports of entry made important pest discoveries on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. They intercepted live pests in a shipment of corn and in the wood packing materials of two other commercial shipments.


“These pests are tiny but the risk they present is immense,” said Ana Hinojosa, U.S. Customs and Border Protection director of Field Operations in El Paso. “The attention to detail demonstrated by the CBP agriculture specialists who discovered these pests should be noted and is the direct result of a thorough and detailed examination process.”


On November 17, CBP agriculture specialists at the Bridge of the Americas commercial cargo lot were inspecting a shipment of corn on the cob when they discovered a living Diatraea lineolata worm (a corn boring pest) in the fresh produce. The shipment of 1,980 pounds of corn was refused entry and returned to Mexico. The balance of the shipment, which included corn husks and cooked corn, passed inspection and was released to the importer.


On November 17, CBP agriculture specialists at the Santa Teresa port of entry cargo lot were inspecting a shipment of bagged stucco material loaded on wooden pallets when they discovered a species of Scolytidae (a wood boring pest) in the wood packing materials. The two live pests discovered in a pallet were identified by USDA. The entire shipment was refused entry and returned to Mexico for proper wood packing material (WPM) treatment.


On November 18, CBP agriculture specialists at the Santa Teresa port of entry cargo lot were inspecting a shipment of bagged concrete loaded on wooden pallets when they found that one pallet was infested with live larvae of the species of Scolytidae (a wood boring pest). The entire shipment was refused entry and returned to Mexico for proper wood packing material (WPM) treatment.


All wood packing materials (WPM), such as pallets, crates, boxes and pieces of wood used to support or brace cargo, must meet import requirements and be free of timber pests before entering or transiting through the United States. All WPM entering or transiting through the United States must be either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide. The WPM must also be marked with an approved international logo, certifying it has been appropriately treated.


“The packing materials were properly marked however CBP agriculture specialists will take the extra step and conduct an examination to be certain that the materials are pest free,” said Hinojosa.


CBP will require the immediate reexportation of any unmarked WPM as well as any marked WPM that is found to be infested with a live wood-boring pest. All costs associated with the reexportation are the responsibility of the importer or party of interest.


While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/11202009_3.xml

 




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