ARCHIVED - Canada-United States Joint AGM Industry Notice 2014

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February, 2014

Asian gypsy moth (AGM) is a serious pest that can be carried on the superstructure of ships and cargo. AGM populations are prevalent in some seaport areas in Far East Russia, Japan, Korea, and Northern China. It is a quarantine pest for both Canada and the United States (U.S.). If introduced, AGM could have significant negative impacts on the North American plant resource base, commerce that relies on those plant resources, and to market access. Canada and the U.S. are working together to manage AGM risk at origin through the vessel pre-departure certification program.

Vessels must arrive to North American ports free of AGM and with required pre-departure certification. It is vital that the maritime industry collaborates, with the U.S. and Canadian authorities on measures to minimize the risk of AGM incursion. Although the plant health and agricultural agencies of the U.S. and Canada are independent and have variances in their legislation AGM risk mitigation and exclusion efforts are a joint effort and considered a high priority.

In 2013, U.S. and Canadian authorities intercepted vessels with AGM egg masses on the superstructures of ships and cargo. Many vessels arriving to North America with AGM life stages present were ordered into international waters to mitigate risk of introduction. In all cases of vessels arriving without the required AGM certification, or upon detection of AGM, significant delays in cargo loading or discharging activities as well as in routine clearance can occur, resulting in loss of revenue to the shipping line and associated parties.

The shipping industry has significantly enhanced awareness of necessary quarantine compliance for AGM. This has been vital to maintaining shipping schedules. Both countries are committed to working with industry partners to support measures that will reduce AGM risk at origin.


For vessels which have called on areas regulated for AGM during the specified periods, as outlined in Table 1, the following measures are required:

1. Vessels must be inspected and must obtain pre-departure certification from a recognized certification body. A copy of the certificate, stating that the vessel is free of Asian gypsy moth life stages, must be forwarded to their U.S or Canadian agents. The inspections should be performed as close to vessel departure time from the regulated port as possible.

2. Vessels must arrive in North American ports free from AGM. To avoid facing inspection delays, re-routing and other potential impacts associated with mitigating the risk of entry of AGM to North America, shipping lines should perform intensive vessel self-inspections to look for, remove (scrape off) and properly dispose of or destroy all egg masses and other life stages of AGM prior to entering U.S. and Canadian ports.

3. Vessels must provide two year port of call data, at least 96 hours prior to arrival in a North American port, to the Canadian or U.S. agent. The agent is to ensure that this information is provided to U.S. and Canadian officials.

Table 1. Regulated Areas and Specified Risk Periods
Country Port or Prefecture Specified Period
Russian Far East Nakhodka, Ol'ga, Plastun, Pos'yet, Russkiy Island, Slavyanka, Vanino, Vladivostok, Vostochny, Zarubino, Kozmino July1 to September 30
People's Republic of China All ports in northern China, including all ports north of Shanghai (defined as all ports on or north of 31°15' north latitude) June 1 to September 30
Republic of Korea All ports June 1 to September 30
Japan – Northern Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima July 1 to September 30
Japan Western Akita, Yamagata, Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa June 25 to September 15
Japan - Eastern Fukui, Ibaraki, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie June 20 to August 20
Japan - Southern Wakayama, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Kagawa, Tokushima, Ehime, Kochi, Fukuoka, Oita, Saga, Nagasaki, Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Kagoshima June 1 to August 10
Japan - Far Southern Okinawa May 25 to June 30

It is the responsibility of the shipping lines to meet all requirements for entry to the U.S. and Canada for freedom from AGM and other pest concerns. The risk for introduction of AGM into North America from Far East Russia, Japan, Korea, and Northern China is considered to be high for 2014. We strongly urge maritime interests to take all possible precautions.

Upon arrival in North America, there have been detections on vessels that obtained pre-departure certification. Where certification has been issued many days prior to ship departure from an area regulated for AGM, re-infestation can occur. Therefore, it is important that inspection and certification be conducted as close to time of departure as feasible. It is also of vital importance that a ship's crew ensures freedom from AGM by conducting inspection of the ship superstructure while en route to North America and removing and destroying all life stages of AGM detected.

Please be advised that, although the U.S. and Canada are in full agreement on the requirement for AGM pre-departure certification and vessels arriving free from all AGM life forms (egg masses, pupae, adults), due to sovereign regulations and policies, there are differences in port-of-entry processes between the two countries. Please contact local inspection authorities in the port of entry if you have any questions regarding AGM import requirements or clearance procedures.

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