Asian Gypsy Moth - 1 March commencement date for High Risk Period in Canada

28 February 2011

Members may be aware that the Asian Gypsy Moth, which is to be found predominantly in eastern Russia, northern China and some parts of northern Japan, is a serious pest of coniferous and deciduous trees. Port areas in infested countries are sometimes subject to high population levels and the females often lay large egg masses on ships which can survive long sea passages, even in bad weather. The Asian Gypsy Moth is not found in North America and both the U.S. and Canadian Authorities have taken regulatory steps to prevent their spread. Recent regulations issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (“CFIA”) stipulate, amongst other things, that from 1 March until 15 October each year:-

1. The Master of a marine vessel which has visited ports in regulated areas in the current year or in the year immediately preceding the current year must provide to the vessel’s Canadian agent:

(i) a summary of the ports called upon by the vessel for the past 2 years and

(ii) a copy of a Phytosanitary Certificate or other approved certificate(s) (see Appendix 4 of the regulations for a list of approved certificates)

For the latest list of regulated areas as set out in Appendix 1 of the regulations click here. Please note that these are updated by the CFIA in February each year.

2. Prior to the vessel entering Canadian waters, the Canadian agent is responsible for notifying the CFIA office located at or near the port of arrival and provide to the CFIA a summary of ports of call and copies of an approved Phytosanitary Certificate or other approved certificate(s).

3. If the above requirements are met, the vessel may enter a Canadian port upon written confirmation by the appropriate CFIA office. However, the vessel remains subject to inspection by the CFIA during its stay in Canada.

4. Vessels that fail to meet these requirements will be considered to be non-compliant and may not be permitted entry into Canada, unless an inspection by the CFIA at a designated inspection site is conducted and if an inspector is satisfied that the risk of introducing the Asian Gypsy Moth has been mitigated.

At all other times of the year i.e. 16 October to 28/29 February, vessels will be permitted to enter Canada but may still be inspected at berth for the presence of the Asian Gypsy Moth. For a full copy of the Canadian regulations click here.

In order to minimise/eradicate delays when entering Canada, Members are reminded of the impending 1 March deadline. Members are further reminded of the potential fines that may be imposed on vessels not complying with Port state regulations and inspections. In the meantime, for relevant information and regulations for the U.S. please click here and to assist in identifying Asian Gypsy Moth eggs on board, Members can review the helpful guide prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service by clicking here.