In response to reports of high population levels of Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) in some countries regulated for AGM, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Canadian food Inspection Agency (CFIA) jointly remind ship operators of requirements for entering US and Canada safely.
The two organizations highlight that “possessing a valid certificate in no way precludes a ship from being ordered out of port if AGM detected.” They also suggest that the following measures should be taken, in order to avoid any delays to port entry or refusal of entry in North America:
- Arrange for AGM inspection, removal of all AGM life forms and certification as close as possible to departure from areas regulated for AGM to avoid re-infestation;
- Ensure that all vessel activities in regulated areas (e.g. bunkering) are concluded or in the process of being concluded prior to obtaining AGM certification;
- Conduct vessel self-checking while en route to North America to remove and destroy all egg masses and other life forms of AGM detected;
- Ensure vessels are in good repair and decks are clear of debris and unnecessary obstacles to allow for thorough inspection both in AGM regulated areas and upon arrival in North America.
What is more, Japan P&I Club informs that Japan has a large volume of AGM in the inland sea this year. In these areas of high population level of AGM flying to port, it is reported that the ships, which had obtained the necessary pre-depature certificate after AGM inspection was carried out the day before departure from port, were exposed to AGM flying during the overnight hours and finally allowed moths to intrude and stay on board when departure next morning.
Furthermore, there is a case where a bulker vessel having called at Russia failed to enter port in Canada three times because of AGM detection. The vessel was also prohibited from entering Canada for two months. After obtaining the approved certificate at the port, the vessel finally received the permission to enter the port at the fourth examination.
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