A new common name, Flighted Spongy Moth Complex, will now be used to refer to the group of moths formerly known as Asian Gypsy Moth, or AGM, the Gard P&I Club informs.
n March 2022 the Entomological Society of America (ESA) announced that the common name for Lymantria dispar would now be “spongy moth”, replacing the name “gypsy moth” which was considered derogatory. As a result, the common name Flighted Spongy Moth Complex (FSMC) will now be used to refer to the group of moths previously known as Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM).
It may take some time for each country to update all of its websites, policies, forms, certificates, educational material, etc. to reflect the new common name. Hence, during this time of transition from one name to another, all inspection certificates using both of these names will continue to be considered valid if they have been issued by recognized certification body.
…the Gard Club said highlighting that the Club is now referring to FSMC in all of our loss prevention and awareness material for consistency.
How to prepare for the 2023 FSMC season
To prevent a similarly high number of vessels with egg masses arriving in 2023, vessel operators should remind their Masters of the importance of arriving in regulating countries free of FSMC and of the need to provide port officials with the required FSMC documentation.
The implementation of proper routines for carrying out systematic self-inspections onboard the vessel while en route is also a good way to avoid delays and re-routing during subsequent port calls.
In terms of FSMC regulations, the following should be noted for the 2023 FSMC season:
- Canada and the US implemented changes to their policies on FSMC regulated areas, which means that the specified risk period, i.e. the time period during which FSMC certification is required, for vessels that have called on certain ports in Japan and Russia has been increased/lengthened.
- Chile defines regulated ports in Asia Pacific as all ports located between 20°and 60° N latitude. As a result, Chilean authorities may target vessels that have called at South Chinese ports that are currently not regulated by the US, Canada, and New Zealand.
- Argentina’s FSMC regulations entered into force in April 2021, but its policy on FSMC regulated areas was amended ahead of the 2023 flight season. Hence, beginning in 2023, the specified risk period for vessels that have called on certain ports in Japan and Russia has been increased/lengthened and is now in line with that of the US and Canada. It is also worth noting that Argentina, like Chile, defines regulated ports in Asia Pacific as all ports located between 20°and 60° N latitude.
- Australia announced in December 2022 that its annual heightened vessel surveillance window for managing the risks posed by FSMC on vessels began on 1 January 2023. The Australian authorities continue to target only vessels that have visited a port in East Russia between 40ºN, 60ºN and west of 147ºE, anytime between 1 July and 30 September in the previous two calendar years.
- New Zealand’s specified risk periods in regulated ports in Asia Pacific no longer mirrors those of the US and Canada and only vessels that in the past 12 months were in one of these regulated ports during the risk periods are required to present a valid pre-departure certificate.