The AGM expert group of the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) has proposed revisions of the current risk periods for Asian Gypsy Moth in all the regulated countries.
Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) is a destructive forest pest known to spread via ocean-going vessels in international trade. The AGM season usually starts from late May to September. 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 AGM-free certificate at the last port of the regulated area.
Countries usually known to regulate and inspect arriving vessels for AGM are the US, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. A current overview of regulatory requirements with respect to AGM per country is summarized by Gard P&I Club herebelow:
- Canada and the US issued this year’s Joint AGM Industry Notice in February 2021. Vessels that, in the past 24 months, have visited regulated ports or anchorages in Asia Pacific during the current AGM risk periods, shown in the table at the end of this alert, must present a valid pre-departure certificate.
- Canada also revised its AGM Policy Directive in March 2021. The revised Directive stresses the need for AGM inspection reports issued by other AGM regulating countries to be included in the pre-arrival notification, clarifies Canada’s position regarding exemptions for vessel inspected and found AGM free by authorities in the US, Chile or New Zealand, and emphasizes that failure of a vessel’s Canadian agent to notify the authorities of the arrival of a regulated vessel, prior to the vessel entering Canadian water, is considered to be a non-compliance.
- Chile defines regulated ports in Asia Pacific as all ports located between 20°and 60° N latitude. As a result it may therefore target vessels that have called at South Chinese ports that are currently not regulated by the US, Canada, and New Zealand.
- Argentina’s new AGM regulations entered into force in April 2021. Like Chile, Argentina defines regulated ports in Asia Pacific as all ports located between 20°and 60° N latitude.
- New Zealand’s risk periods mirrors those of the US and Canada but 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.
- Australia announced in its Industry Advice Notice 88-2021 that the authorities ceased its annual surveillance for managing the risks posed by AGM on vessels arriving after 31 May 2021. However, 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 will still be risk assessed by the Australian authorities to determine the need for a targeted AGM inspection on arrival.
After reviewing the above, the proposed revisions by NAPPO are as follows:
- Adjusting the regulated areas and extending the risk period start and end dates for some regions in Japan.
- Extending the risk period start and end dates in Russia.
- Reducing the total number of risk periods from six to four.
- Based on available data, there are no changes to the risk periods for Korea or China at this time.
For vessels that call on ports in North America, the revision to the risk periods means that the time period where AGM certification is required for vessels that have called on ports in Japan and Russia has been increased/lengthened, Gard Club explained.
According to the WTO notifications system, implementation of changes to the risk periods is planned to begin in 2022 in both Canada and the US. The US proposed regulated areas and AGM risk periods are shown below:
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