Dulles CBP Protects U.S. against Potential Agriculture Threats in Passenger Baggage
Visitors should read CBP’s Travel website before departing to the United States
STERLING, Va. – Protecting our nation’s crop, grain and livestock industries is a daunting task and four recent U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seizures at Washington Dulles International Airport illustrate the potential threats CBP agriculture specialists face every day.
CBP agriculture specialists discovered Khapra beetle cast skins in a sack of cowpeas in traveler baggage from Sudan October 14. The traveler also possessed federal noxious weed seeds. Khapra beetle is a destroyer of stored grains, cereals and seeds, and it presents a potentially damaging economic impact to United States grain and cereal exports if Khapra beetle was to establish in the U.S. It remains the only insect in which CBP takes regulatory action, even when the insect is in a dead state.The cowpeas were incinerated.
CBP agriculture specialists also seized three stools from Ethiopia October 15 that were constructed of raw wood and unprocessed goat hide, which could carry destructive invasive wood borers and plant and animal diseases. The stools were incinerated.
Agriculture specialists also incinerated a collection of propagative seeds without a phytosanitary certificate seized from traveler baggage from South Africa October 7, and destroyed about 54 pounds of mangoes, lemons, dates, garlic and pumpkin seeds seized from traveler baggage from Egypt October 2. The fruit posed a threat of introducing plant disease and could serve as a vector for invasive insect hitchhikers. CBP agriculture detector dog Phillip discovered the fruit.
“Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists encounter all kinds of things in traveler baggage every day and these prohibited agriculture products pose a serious concern for our nation’s agriculture economy,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “CBP remains steadfast in conducting vigilant agriculture protection inspections at our ports of entry to ensure our nation’s agriculture security and economic prosperity.”
Travelers can view a brief listing of Prohibited and Restricted Items to know what they can and cannot bring to the United States, and foreign visitors can read more about navigating through CBP’s international arrivals inspection. Read more CBP Travel advice at https://www.cbp.gov/travel.
During a typical day last year, CBP agriculture specialists across the nation seized 4,552 prohibited plant, meat, animal byproduct, and soil, and intercepted 319 insect pests at U.S. ports of entry.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.