March 18 - Maritime services providers Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) and GAC Group have both issued advice regarding Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) regulations for vessels arriving at North American ports this summer, as highlighted by the US Department of Agr

The risk of introduction of AGM into North America from East Russia, Japan, Korea and Northern China is considered to be high for 2013.

Vessels arriving at North American ports must have the necessary pre-departure certification and be free of AGM. Where vessels arrive without the correct documentation, or on detection of AGM, there can be long delays in cargo loading and discharging activities. It is the responsibility of shipping lines to meet all requirements for entry in to the US and Canada.

AGM is a pest that can be carried on the superstructure of ships and cargo and is prevalent in some seaport areas. In 2012, US and Canadian authorities intercepted a large number of ships carrying invasive egg masses.

Local inspection authorities at the port of entry should be contacted for any questions regarding AGM import requirements or clearance procedures. Further information can be found at the United States Department of Agriculture website (link below).