Honolulu, Hawaii - U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists intercepted federal noxious weed seeds and a plant pathogen in a shipment of thatched grass roofing material at the Honolulu Seaport last month.
CBP agriculture specialists inspected the shipment in early February and detected a large number of Imperata cylindrical, a federal noxious weed species. The agriculture specialists also noticed black spots along the stems of the grass. These black spots were identified as Massariothea botulispora (Teng), a plant pathogen.
CBP agriculture specialists issued an emergency action notification requiring immediate export from the U.S.
"It is not difficult to recognize the seriousness of the importation of agriculture products harboring pests and diseases" said Bruce Murley, area port director for the Area Port of Honolulu. "Some products can be a vehicle for harmful invasive species that can have a devastating impact on our nation's agriculture industry, natural resources, as well as the economy. CBP remains committed to protecting and securing our nation's borders from all threats."
While anti-terrorism is CBP's primary mission, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories. For more information on the laws CBP enforces, please visit our Web site.