U.S. CBP ag specialists found a longhorn beetle in a rail container in International Falls. The container was returned to China, from where it originated.

A beetle with the potential to cause millions of dollars of damage annually to the timber industry found in an International Falls rail container is among the 214 emergency action notifications issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists in the first three months of 2021.

The longhorn beetle, known as a destructive pest of wood, was found during an inspection of a rail container with a shipment of flower steel hardware washers from China. The container was returned to China, reported CBP in its first quarter report.

CBP ag specialists issue emergency action notifications, or EAN, to alert trade entities of non-compliance with Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, regulations. The EAN provides options for phytosanitary actions that must be taken to prevent the entry of plant pests, prohibited plant products, or animal products capable of introducing foreign animal diseases.

CBPAS in Portal, N.D., found Mikania Micrantha Kunth, commonly known as “mile-a-minute vine”, within a shipment of hardware fittings from Malaysia. According to APHIS, the vine covers plants, shrubs, and trees may cause hepatoxicity and liver damage in dairy cattle. The container and contents were returned to Malaysia.

CBPAS in Pembina, N.D., discovered a shipment of organic Fonio seed from Mali. Fonio is a small cereal grain belonging to the millet family. The shipment had weed contamination. Fortunately, the contaminants were found to pose no threat. The shipment was released.

“These agriculture seizures show the significant priority Customs and Border Protection places on our agriculture inspection program at our ports of entry,” said Pembina Area Port Director Jason Schmelz. “Preventing harm to domestic crops and vegetation is an important role our Agriculture Specialists provide this country.”

CBP agriculture specialists are the front line in the fight against the introduction of harmful insects and diseases into the U.S. They safeguard American agriculture by stopping plant pests and exotic foreign animal diseases that could harm vital agriculture resources at our nation’s borders.

. See what else CBP achieved on a typical day during 2020.