PORTAL, N.D. — 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.
Earlier this month, agriculture specialists normally assigned to work in Pembina, North Dakota, and International Falls, Minnesota, joined staff at the Portal Port of Entry and conducted a two-day special enforcement operation.
Over the two days, several rail containers that had been targeted for inspection were examined, which revealed several unwanted pests and invasive seeds. A total of 55 different pests were submitted for identification. 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 Pembina Area Port Director Jason Schmelz. “The high success rate in finding pests in these containers is the result of outstanding inspections conducted by dedicated agriculture specialists.”
Importers and travelers can check for restrictions on agricultural products by contacting a CBP agricultural specialist at 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.