BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the Brownsville port of entry intercepted significant pests on two shipments of stainless steel sheets transported on solid wood packaging materials (WPM).
On December 27, CBP agriculture specialists' examination of two commercial trucks at the Veterans International Bridge cargo lot resulted in the discovery of live wood-boring insects. The insects, whose appearance was consistent with wood-boring Scolytidae sp., were collected from wooden pallets used in the transportation of stainless steel sheets being imported into the United States from Mexico. The collected insects were transported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Inspection Station at Los Indios, Texas for identification. The specimens were confirmed as quarantine significant bark beetles of the Scolytidae family. As a result of this finding, the shipment was re-exported back to Mexico.
CBP agriculture specialists at the Brownsville Port of Entry have discovered live pests of concern multiple times in shipments from various importers. The WPM in all cases displayed the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) marking which indicates the pallets have been treated according to international standards. Importers who have made multiple attempts to enter with violative WPM have been penalized.
CBP agriculture specialists working at U.S. ports of entry ensure that cargo and conveyances are not infested with harmful plant pests and diseases that could harm the agricultural crops, plants and trees in the United States. Certain types of word-boring beetles could be devastating to numerous types of trees since they may have no natural predators in this region. Infestation could spread at an alarming rate and conceivably cost millions of dollars and man hours to eradicate.
"Brownsville's CBP agriculture specialists have intercepted Buprestidae sp., Cerambycidae sp. and Scolytidae sp. types of beetles in their larval stage and have once again protected the Rio Grande Valley's agriculture industry," said Michael T. Freeman, Port Director at the Brownsville Port of Entry. Freeman went on to say, "After examining the wood packaging materials even though they were stamped with IPPC markings, our CBP agriculture specialists discovered multiple pests. This is another great job of protecting our agricultural and forest resources in a continuing fight against the introduction of exotic plant pests and diseases into the United States."
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.