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Gard’s Members and clients with vessels trading in Chile report of specific brown moth (Thyrinteina Arnobia) inspections being carried out as part of the port clearance for vessels that have called at an Ecuadorian port from May 2016 onwards.

The Chilean Agriculture Service (SAG) has implemented a deck and cargo inspection regime for all vessels arriving from Ecuador in an effort to prevent an infestation by brown moths (Thyrinteina Arnobia) in Chile. The increased surveillance measures were introduced after SAG inspectors recently identified brown moth eggs during inspections of vessels arriving from Ecuador. SAG published their Circular No.: 381/2016 (an unofficial English translation is available here) on 14 June 2016 in order to:

  • emphasise the requirements of Exempt Resolution 1984/2000 for vessels and containers arriving from or transiting through Ecuadorian ports to be free of all stages of Thyrinteina Arnobia; and
  • warn that SAG inspectors may carry out inspections and require phytosanitary treatment of such vessels in compliance with the above rules.

If traces of brown moths and/or viable larvae and eggs are found onboard vessels during such inspections, port entry is likely to be refused and the vessel prevented from offloading cargo until fumigation has been completed. Once fumigation has been completed, a re-inspection will be conducted by SAG to check that all larvae and eggs have been removed. Additionally, SAG may also inspect the actual cargo discharged from such vessels. If traces of the pest are found during cargo offloading, operations could be stopped and a treatment order issued. Gard’s correspondent in Chile, Cave y Cia. Ltda., has provided a list of companies authorised to perform phytosantary treatments which is updated as of 8 June 2016.

The brown moth, Thyrinteina Arnobia, is a forest pest that, if introduced to a country where it is not native, has the potential to seriously affect the country’s agricultural resources. Like the Asian Gypsy Moth, brown moths lay their eggs on the vessel’s superstructure and vessels and cargo are therefore known to be involved in the spread of this pest by carrying moths and eggs from one port to another. Although the pest is native in several countries in South America, e.g. Ecuador and Brazil, it is not native in Chile and prevention efforts are therefore considered a priority by the Chilean port authorities.

 

Recommendations

Members and clients with vessels calling ports in South America are advised to inform their Masters about the newly brown moth inspection regime in Chilean ports introduced, currently applicable to vessels that have called at Ecuadorian ports from May 2016 onwards.

In order to avoid having to carry out fumigation and re-inspections in Chilean ports, the importance of arriving at the port free of all life stages of the brown moth should be emphasised and instructions for self-inspections and cleaning en route made available onboard. A thorough visual inspection of all accessible areas of the vessel’s superstructure, decks, holds, cargo and cargo gear is recommended. If egg masses are found, they should be scraped off and destroyed. Details of the self-inspections undertaken should be recorded in the vessel’s deck log book.

 

We would like to thank Gard’s correspondent Cave y Cia. Ltda. for their assistance in the preparation of this alert.