U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists (CBPAS) issued 171 emergency action notifications during the fourth quarter of 2020. Emergency Action Notifications (EAN) alert trade entities of non-compliance with APHIS regulations. The EAN provides options for phytosanitary actions that must be taken to prevent the entry of plant pests, prohibited plant products, or animal products capable of introducing foreign animal diseases.
CBPAS in Portal found Nysius, commonly known as a false chinch bug, within a shipment of screws from Taiwan. This type of seed bug is a pest that attacks wheat and other grains as well as vegetables. Due to the contamination, the container and contents were returned to Taiwan.
During an inspection of a rail container in International Falls, Minnesota, CBPAS intercepted Chloropidae (grass fly) in a shipment of flower pots from China. The grass fly is a pest that feed on the secretions around the eyes and nose of animals and humans. The grass fly is capable of spreading bacterial infections. The container was safeguarded until the threat could be mitigated.
CBPAS in Pembina discovered a shipment of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) protected plants including Ginseng and Dendrobium. The shipment was manifested as tea. The CITES shipment was missing documentation and is required to enter at specific locations listed on the paperwork. The shipment was returned to Canada.
“These agriculture seizures show the significant priority Customs and Border Protection places on our agriculture inspection program at our ports of entry,” said Pembina Area Port Director Jason Schmelz. “Preventing harm to domestic crops and vegetation is an important role our Agriculture Specialists provide this country.”
CBP Agriculture Specialists are the front line in the fight against the introduction of harmful insects and diseases into the U.S. They safeguard American agriculture by stopping plant pests and exotic foreign animal diseases that could harm vital agriculture resources at our nation’s borders.