Detroit, MI. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection is working to prevent the entry of unwanted guests this summer-the six-legged kind. CBP warns travelers to leave their firewood at home.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a new federal order regarding firewood because of increased concern over pest introductions into this country. CBP currently enforces this order by continuing to carefully inspect shipments of firewood and inform travelers of the new U.S. regulatory requirement. If CBP finds signs of a pest in the wood, travelers will be turned back to dispose of the firewood. CBP is fully enforcing the APHIS order for non-commercial shipments and only firewood that has proof of treatment will be allowed into the U.S.
The new updated federal order will require that hardwood firewood entering the U.S. from Canada be heat treated at 60° centigrade (minimal core temperature) for 60 minutes in accordance with Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, 319.40-7(c). In addition, the Federal Order will require that all softwood firewood being imported from Canada and spruce logs imported from Nova Scotia, Canada be heat treated at 56º centigrade (minimal core temperature) for 30 minutes.
This requirement is necessary to protect U.S. forests from certain softwood and hardwood pests that are present in Canada. These pests include the pine shoot beetle, brown spruce longhorn beetle, European spruce bark beetle, Asian long horned beetle, emerald ash borer and gypsy moth. These and other insect pests pose serious threats to softwood and hardwood trees and have no known natural predators in the U.S.
These pests have the potential of destroying millions of acres of America's treasured hardwoods, including national forests and backyard trees, if they were allowed to become established and to spread. The Asian longhorned beetle eradication effort in areas where the pest has become established has cost the U.S. in excess of $269 million.