The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Port of New Orleans has recently issued notice no. 21-035 to advise the maritime industry of the importance of foreign AGM-free certification inspections.
The AGM season usually starts from late May to September. The AGM regions in general are Northern China, Japan, South Korea and Far East Russia. A ship that has called at a port in the regulated area during this period is considered high risk and, in general, required to obtain an AGM-free certificate at the last port of the regulated area. An AGM found on a vessel may require that the vessel be ordered into international waters, required to undergo treatment, re-inspected, or refused entry.sian Gypsy Moth (AGM) is a destructive forest pest known to spread via ocean-going vessels in international trade.
As such, the CBP New Orleans recommends that all vessels that called ports in AGM region during the high-risk flight season to arrive with a valid foreign AGM free certificate. This may prevent CBP from discovering AGM infestation onboard vessels in port, thus reducing the requirement for an infested vessel to be ordered removed from port for cleaning in international waters.
Captains of vessels arriving from AGM regions during the AGM high risk season are encouraged to have vessel crewmen inspect their vessels for AGM prior to arriving in the port of New Orleans,
…the notice advised.
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Previously, the vessel master, agent, owner, operator or designee, was required to fax or e-mail a copy of the vessel’s ‘Ports of Call’ list to CBP prior to the arrival of a vessel from a foreign or coastwise port prior to arrival in the New Orleans Tri-Port. At this time, Ports of Call lists are no longer required to be submitted, unless CBP requests this information. The CBP will perform an AGM inspection on all targeted vessels regardless of the vessel’s foreign AGM free certification status.
If a suspect AGM egg mass is discovered onboard a vessel before arrival at the Port of New Orleans, CBP Operations Desk should be notified at (504) 670-2270, crew should carefully scrape off the suspect AGM egg mass with a knife or paint scraper and place the suspect AGM egg mass into the vessel’s incinerator and incinerate the suspect AGM egg mass. If the vessel does not have a functional incinerator, have the crewmember place the suspect AGM egg mass into a Ziploc bag and place the specimen in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
If a suspect AGM egg mass is discovered while a vessel is in the Port of New Orleans, CBP Operations Desk should be notified at (504) 670-2270, crew should mark the area and do not remove the suspect AGM specimen. A CBP boarding team will be dispatched to the vessel to conduct an AGM inspection. If the Agriculture Specialist determines that a specimen is suspect for AGM, normal AGM protocols will be followed.