AGM is a destructive forest pest known to spread via ocean-going vessels in international trade. Vessels calling at certain ports in the Asia Pacific between May and September should therefore be inspected and “certified free of AGM” prior to departure, this to minimise the potential for regulatory action when arriving in a country where the pest is not native.

 

-US

The AGM programme is managed by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

US definition of regulated areas and specified risk periods

Regulated areas include ports in East Russia, Japan, Korea and Northern China and the US base their AGM policy on the following specified risk periods:

US entry requirements

Vessels that, in the past 24 months, has visited one of the risk areas during the specified risk period must:

  • obtain a valid pre-departure certificate from a recognised certification body issued at the last port of call in a risk area;
  • perform vessel self-inspections en route; and
  • forward a copy of the pre-departure certificate together with two years of port of call data to the vessel’s local agent at least 96 hours prior to arrival. The agent must ensure that this information is provided to US officials.

Vessels arriving without the required certificates will be inspected for AGM and are likely to encounter significant delays in cargo operations as well as in routine clearance.

Inspection periods in US ports

Vessels that, in the past 24 months, have visited one of the regulated areas during the specified risk period must:

  • obtain a valid pre-departure certificate from a recognised certification body issued at the last port of call in a regulated area;
  • perform vessel self-inspections en route; and
  • forward a copy of the pre-departure certificate together with two years of port of call data to the vessel’s local agent at least 96 hours prior to arrival. The agent must ensure that this information is provided to US officials.

Inspections in US ports

We are not aware that any specific heightened surveillance periods are specified for US ports. Although climatic periods conducive to sustain AGM lifecycles are likely to occur from March through September in Northern US ports, such conditions may exist all year round in Southern US ports. It is therefore the local climatic conditions at a given US port at the time of entry as well as a vessel’s itinerary and certification that determines its level of risk. The following enforcement actions can be expected:

  • Non-certified vessels will receive AGM inspections at all US ports on each voyage when the itinerary suggests an AGM risk.
  • Certified vessels will be subject to an assessment of risk to determine the need for inspection.
  • If AGM is suspected on a vessel, re-inspections at subsequent ports will occur.
  • If AGM is detected, and/or confirmed, the vessel will be subject to receive removal orders and may be removed from port.

-Canada

The AGM programme is managed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Canada’s definition of regulated areas and specified risk periods

CIFA and the US APHIS are working together to manage AGM risks at origin and the Canadian requirements are aligned with the requirements enforced in US ports. Hence, Canada’s definition of regulated areas and specified risk periods are equivalent to those of the US listed above. In addition, CIFA has published a policy clarification stating that the country’s AGM policy does not exempt bunkering locations, including those at anchorage sites, located in the defined regulated areas.

Canadian entry requirements

As for entry to US ports, vessels that, in the past 24 months, has visited one of the regulated areas during the specified risk period must:

  • obtain a valid pre-departure certificate from a recognised certification body issued at the last port of call in a regulated area;
  • perform vessel self-inspections en route; and
  • forward a copy of the pre-departure certificate together with two years of port of call data to the vessel’s local agent at least 96 hours prior to arrival. The agent must ensure that this information is provided to Canadian officials.

Inspections in Canadian ports

CIFA states that the AGM risk period for Canada begins on 1 March in Western Canadian ports and on 15 March in Eastern Canadian ports and ends on 15 September for all Canadian ports. During these periods, vessels arriving without the required certificates may be refused entry into Canada unless an inspection by the CFIA at a designated offshore inspection site is conducted, and the inspector is satisfied that the risk of introducing AGM has been mitigated. If an inspector is not satisfied that the risk of introducing AGM has been mitigated, the vessel will be ordered out of Canadian waters and may be refused entry for up to two years. Outside the AGM high risk periods for Canada, vessels classified as high risk of AGM are likely to be allowed to berth without interruption, subject to inspections at the discretion of the CIFA.

Vessels calling on all ports of Labrador and north across Canada to the Yukon territory (including all ports in Yukon territory, Northwest territory, Nunavut, and all ports in Ontario and Quebec adjacent to Hudson Bay or James Bay) are exempt from the certification requiements if these ports are the first and only ports of call in Canada. However, vessels calling on these northern ports are not exempt from notification requirements for AGM and must provide their port of call data as per the requirements above.

 

-Chile

The AGM programme is managed by the Chilean Agriculture and Livestock Service.

Chile’s definition of regulated areas and specified risk periods

SAG’s regulations concerning entry of vessels from areas with presence of AGM (Exempt Resolution No.: 4412/2013) entered into force in February 2014. Regulated areas include ports in Russia, Japan, Korea and China between 60°N and 20°N latitude and Chile base their AGM policy on the following definition of regulated areas and specified risk periods:

Chilean entry requirements

Vessels that, in the past 24 months, have visited one of the regulated areas during the specified risk period must:

  • obtain a valid pre-departure certificate from a recognised certification body issued at the last port of call in a regulated area; and
  • forward a copy of the pre-departure certificate together with two years of port of call data to the Chilean officials at least 24 hours prior to arrival.

Inspections in Chilean ports

We are not aware that any specific heightened surveillance periods are specified for Chilean ports. Vessels arriving without the required certificates will be subject to inspections – the extent and location of the inspection will be determined based on an assessment of a vessel’s overall AGM risk. Such inspection must take place in daylight and free pratique may not be granted until the inspection has been completed.

 

-Australia

The AGM programme is managed by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Australia’s definition of regulated areas and specified risk periods

The regulated areas include ports in Russia only and Australia base their AGM policy on the following definition of regulated areas and specified risk periods:

Australian entry requirements

As part of the Australian Maritime Arrivals Reporting System (MARS) and the required Pre-Arrival Report (PAR), vessels are required to:

  • disclose whether they, in the past 24 months, visited a port in the regulated area during the specified risk period (question 6), and if yes;
  • advise if they since the last port call in a regulated area have been inspected and cleared by an agricultural authority in Australia, Russia, Canada, New Zealand or the US (question 6.2) and forward a copy of the relevant clearance certificate as an attachment to the PAR.

Inspections in Australian ports

DAFF states that the heightened surveillance period for Australian ports is between January and May each year. Vessels classified as high risk of AGM will be assessed by DAFF to determine the need for AGM inspection on arrival and will be notified if a targeted AGM inspection is required as part of their first port arrival formalities.

-New Zealand

The AGM programme is managed by the Ministry of Primary Industries.

New Zealand’s definition of regulated areas and specified risk periods

Regulated areas include ports in East Russia, Japan, Korea and Northern China and New Zealand base their AGM policy on the following definition of regulated areas and specified risk periods:

New Zealand entry requirements

Vessels that, in the past 12 months, have visited one of the regulated areas during the specified risk period must:

  • obtain a valid pre-departure certificate from a recognised certification body issued at the last port of call in a regulated area;
  • make sure the certificate confirms that the vessel was inspected during daylight hours on the same date as the vessel’s departure; and
  • forward a copy of the pre-departure certificate together with one year of port of call data to the MPI at least 48 hours prior to arrival.

Inspections in New Zealand ports

We are not aware that any specific heightened surveillance periods are specified for New Zealand ports. Vessels arriving without the required certificates will be subject to inspection at a specific port as determined by the MPI or potentially four nautical miles offshore at an agreed location if the risk is considered to be very high.