What is Asian Gypsy Moth Certification?
The Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) is an exotic insect pest inhabitant in Far East countries such as Russia, Northern China, Korea and Japan. Ships and containers used for transportation of used cars from these countries can carry the egg masses of Asian Gypsy Moth to United States, Canada and other countries. These moths cause serious threat to the agriculture and vegetation.
Cargo ships and shipping containers are common place for adult moths to frequently lay their egg masses. The “flight season”, when female moth lay eggs is the most high-risk period, which normally goes from May to September. The egg masses are tolerant to extreme temperature and moisture. The spread of this moth could have destructive effects to Country’s agriculture and horticultural industries.
Being in the Far East Region, Japan is under high probability for Asian Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar). As large numbers of used vehicles from Japan are exported to countries such as USA. Canada and many more. Thus it is necessary to get the vehicle inspected for presence of AGM before their departure. Many recognized organizations in Japan perform AGM certification on used vehicles. The AGM inspection on the vessel is done to detect the presence of moth. And inspection certificate is issued after the vehicle gets free from Asian Gypsy Moth. Along with USA and Canada, vessels imported to Chile, New Zealand and Australia are also subjected to AGM certification.
AGM measures include the following:-
- Before shipping of the vessel, it should be inspected and should receive a certification from a recognized certification organization. The certificate copy must be forwarded to the USA or Canadian agent. Declaring that vessel is free of life stages of Asian Gypsy Moth. The inspection on the vessel is done on the basis of date of arrival. It should be done close to the departure time from the regulated port.
- Shipping lines prior to vessel entry in USA and Canadian ports should perform thorough self inspection on vessels to look for, remove. And destroy all egg masses in order to avoid vehicle re-routing, any delay in inspection and other steps taken to eradicate the chances of AGM entry.
- At least 96 hours prior to cargo arrival at the port. Vessel must provide two year port of call data to the agents who will hand over the same to the U.S. and Canada officials.
- Vessels arriving at Australia do not require being AGM free certified. The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service checks whether the vessel had been to any of the high risk ports such as China, Korea, Russia, Japan etc. during July 1 and September since last two years. If any such call has been made, the vessel has to disclose that in the meantime. Whether or not it had been inspected and cleared by agricultural authority in Australia, Canada, Russia, New Zealand, USA etc.
Without certification vessels are at greater risk as AGM mitigation efforts have not been applied to them. Safeguarding methods are applied to vessels without certification, which results in some delay. Monetary penalties are issued when required certification is not presented. Canada imposes a huge sum as penalty under the Plant Protection Act if the vessel arrives at the port without AGM certification.
Vessels are subjected to undergo following actions:-
- Non-certified vessel undergoes an AGM inspection at North American ports.
- The certified vessel along with required certificates is checked in order to detect if there is any requirement for an inspection.
- If AGM is suspected, re-inspection will occur.
- If AGM is detected, vessel either removed from the port or re-routed.
Regulated Areas and Specified Risk Periods:-
AGM inspection policy generally emphasizes on ships. Vessels imported from regulated areas during “flight period” must arrive with an inspection certificate.
As female AGM gets attracted by lights on the Ship. They generally lay egg masses on the vessel superstructure and where doors were open while in port. In order to minimize the risk of infestation. Ships are advised to use minimum lighting after the inspection in regulated areas.