DETROIT—U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialist at the Detroit Wayne County International Airport discovered several tunnels, created by wood boring insects, while conducting inspections of wood packaging materials during the month of January.
CBP agricultural specialists conducting inspections of commodities associated with Wood Packaging Materials (WPM), discovered signs of wood boring insects on thirteen occasions during the month of January in commercial air cargo at Detroit Metro Airport.
Six inspections, occurring between Jan. 20 and Jan. 28, resulted in the interception of eight live wood boring insects. These discoveries resulted in the WPM being refused entry into the country.
"CBP agriculture specialists and CBP officers take their role of protecting our nation's agriculture very seriously," said Robert Larkin, acting port director, Detroit Metro Airport port of entry. "They are a critical part of CBP's mission to protect our nation against all potential threats large or small."
All solid WPM is required to meet International Plant Protection Convention standards in order to be used in international shipping. According to USDA, the WPM should be stamped to show that it has been fumigated or heat treated in order to meet those standards.
The increased movement of wood products in international trade has provided an avenue for forest pests and pathogens to be transported to the U.S. from other countries. This is believed to be how many invasive pests have entered our ecosystem.
Invasive pests, like the Emerald Ash Borer and Asian Longhorned Beetle can have devastating impact on U.S. agricultural products.
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.