PORTAL, N.D., January 21, 2016 — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations agriculture specialists discovered multiple pests and invasive seeds while conducting inspections of rail containers at the Portal Port of Entry rail facility.
During the months of November and December, CBP agriculture specialists identified two rail containers that contained unwanted pests and invasive seeds. CBP agriculture specialists regularly inspect commercial shipments to see if they meet import requirements. They also inspect for prohibited products, such as seed and soil contamination, regulated waste and harmful or invasive insects.
“Our CBP agriculture specialists continue to be our first line of defense in protecting our borders from unwanted pests and diseases that could adversely affect our nation’s food production,” said Acting Pembina Area Port Director Jason Schmelz.
Some of the intercepts discovered during this time period were as follows:
- In a container of screws from Taiwan, agriculture specialists discovered brown plant hoppers (Nilaparvata lugens), which are a major pest of rice and causes damage by feeding, but also by spreading viruses. A seed was also discovered and identified as Cogon grass (Imperata cylindrica). This seed is highly invasive and can be flammable. The insects and seed were positively identified as invasive species requiring re-export.
- A shipment of casters from China revealed small beetles in and on the pallets. They were positively identified as bark beetles (Scolytinae sp.), which require automatic re-export to origin due to presence of non-compliant wood packaging material. These bark beetles are highly mobile and very destructive.
Importers and travelers can check for restrictions on agricultural products by contacting a CBP agricultural specialist at 701-825-5820 [Call: 701-825-5820] or visiting prohibited items.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.
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