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Port of Entry Measures Lifted for Eight Plant Pests

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has added eight plant pests to the list of those for which it is no longer taking action at U.S. ports of entry due to scientific determinations that it no longer needs to mitigate the risk they pose. As a result, consignments of imported goods found to be containing these pests will no longer be subject to measures designed to prevent their dissemination in the U.S.

When necessary to prevent the dissemination of a plant pest that is new to or not known to be widely prevalent or distributed within and throughout the United States, APHIS may hold, seize, quarantine, treat, apply other remedial measures to, destroy, or otherwise dispose of any plant, plant pest, noxious weed, biological control organism, plant product, article or means of conveyance that, among other things, is moving into the U.S. and APHIS has reason to believe is infested with a plant pest at the time of the movement. Under this authority, consignments of imported articles are inspected at the port of entry to determine whether plant pests are associated with them and, if so, prescribe remedial measures. APHIS determines whether a pest is actionable based on its novelty and known prevalence or distribution within and throughout the U.S., its potential harm to U.S. agricultural, environmental or other resources, and the need to mitigate its pest risk, if any.

After APHIS determines that a pest is actionable, circumstances may change, and it may no longer be necessary or an effective use of resources to take action on the pest at ports of entry. To ensure that it is taking such action only when warranted, APHIS has started to assess currently actionable plant pests that are present in the U.S. to determine which specific pests it should continue to take action on at ports of entry. This assessment is based on a number of factors, including the extent of the pest's distribution in the U.S.; the pest's impacts on the economy (including its potential impacts on export markets), agricultural production and the environment; the scientific knowledge APHIS has about the pest and the risk it poses; and the availability and effectiveness of control or eradication tools for the pest.

As a result of its most recent assessment, APHIS has determined that the following eight pests for which it had been taking action at ports of entry to address their risk no longer require such action.

- Dieuches armatipes, African seed bug
- Hemicycliophora typica, a nematode with no common name
- Ovachlamys fulgens, jumping snail
- Palmicultor palmarum, Ehrhorn’s palm mealybug
- Parapoynx diminutalis, Asian Hydrilla moth
- Phorodon humuli, Damson-hop aphid
- Singhiella simplex, fig whitefly
- Siphanta acuta, torpedo bug

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