March 19 - Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) has advised on Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) regulations for vessels arriving at North American ports during summer 2014, as issued by the US Department of Agriculture and Canadian Food Inspection Agency,
AGM is a pest that can be carried on the superstructure of ships and cargo and is prevalent in some seaport areas in Far East Russia, Japan, South Korea and northern China. US and Canadian authorities intercepted a large number of vessels with AGM egg masses arriving in North America last year and are forecasting another year of high risk in 2014.
If a vessel calls at the North American port without the required AGM documentation, or on the detection of AGM, there can be significant delays in cargo loading or discharging activities. It is the responsibility of shipping lines to meet all requirements for entry to the US and Canada, explained ISS.
For vessels that have called on AGM regulated areas, the following measures must he adhered to:
1. Vessels must be inspected and obtain pre-departure certification from a recognised certification body located in a regulated area and forward a copy of the certificate, stating that the vessel is free of AGM life stages, to their US or Canadian agents. The inspections should be performed as close to departure time from the regulated port as possible.
2. 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.
3. Vessels must provide two-years 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.
Further information can be found on the USDA website. Local inspection authorities in the port of entry should be contacted for any queries regarding AGM import requirements and clearance procedures.