US and Canada warn the shipping industry of high population levels of Asian gypsy moth in regulated areas and encourage crews on all vessel to intensify their ‘vessel self-inspections’ while en route, to avoid delays and re-routing during subsequent port calls in the two countries.
In a joint bulletin of July 2019, the United States (US) and Canada remind ship operators of the importance of adhering to strict sanitation standards when arriving in North America from one of the countries regulated for AGM, i.e. East Russia, Japan, Korea, and Northern China. Several vessels have recently experienced delays when entering North American ports due to AGM being found onboard. Among these are also vessels that had been inspected and certified free of AGM prior to departing the regulated country. “Possessing a valid certificate in no way precludes a ship from being ordered out of port if AGM is detected” warns the North American authorities.
In order to avoid potential delays to port entry, or even refusal of entry, in North America, vessel operators are advised to:
In addition to the US and Canada, countries currently known to regulate and inspect arriving vessels for AGM are Chile, Australia and New Zealand and we refer to our “Frequently asked questions - managing Asian gypsy moth risk” for a summary of each country’s requirements and relevant publications related to AGM.
Guidance on vessel AGM self-inspection
The authorities have published guides for conducting vessel self-inspections which are available to download, see Canada’s “Inspect Before Entry“ and the US’ “Gypsy Moth Inspectional Pocket Guide.” These guides provide helpful instructions to vessel crews on what the egg masses look like, where they might be found onboard the vessels, and how the eggs should be removed and destroyed. In summary, the crew should:
It is the responsibility of vessel operators to meet all relevant country entry requirements concerning the vessel being free from AGM and other pests. The implementation of proper routines for carrying out systematic self-inspections onboard the vessel while en route can be a good way to avoid delays and re-routing during subsequent port calls.