880 - 04/13 - Asian Gypsy Moth - US/Canada


A joint Canada/US Bulletin to the Maritime Industry on Asian Gypsy Moth Control and Inspection Measures. The bulletin outlines control and mitigation measures for vessels calling in specific ports with high risk of Asian Gypsy Moth infestation.


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. If introduced, AGM would pose a significant risk to the North American plant resource base, businesses that rely on plant resources, and to market access.

Vessels must arrive to North American ports with required pre-departure certification and free of AGM.  

It is vital that the maritime industry and the United States (U.S.) and Canadian authorities collaborate on measures to minimize the risk of AGM incursion. Although the agricultural agencies of the U.S. and Canada are independent and have variances in their laws, AGM risk mitigation and exclusion efforts are a joint effort and considered a high priority.

In 2012, United States and Canadian authorities intercepted a large number of vessels with AGM egg masses on the superstructures of ships and cargo. Many vessels arriving to North America with AGM life stages present resulted in those vessels being 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. When these events occur, the vessels are unable to conduct cargo operations, miss cargo charters, and experience significant schedule delays.

In 2012, it was reported that high numbers of AGM adults were flying in some port areas at the time of pre-departure inspections. Inspection certificates indicated large numbers of egg masses had been removed and some ship crews reported removing hundreds of egg masses post-certification. Upon arrival in North America, there were detections on vessels that had obtained pre-departure certification.

In some cases, certification was found to have been issued many days prior to ship departure from an area regulated for AGM, allowing for re-infestation. 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.

The shipping industry has markedly 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. U.S. and Canadian officials seek increased collaboration with shipping lines, agents, and associations in order to mitigate the risk of introduction of AGM while minimizing impacts on trade.

ActionsFor vessels which have called on areas regulated for AGM during the specified periods, as outlined below, the following measures are required:


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



People's Republic of China

All ports in northern China, including all ports north of


June 1 to September



Republic of Korea


All ports

June 1 to September



Japan - Northern


Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima

July 1 to September



Japan Western


Akita, Yamagata, Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa

June 25 to September



Japan - Eastern

Fukui, Ibaraki, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Aichi,



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


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 2013. We strongly urge maritime interests to take all possible precautions.

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 remain 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. 


Source of Information:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency


United States Department of Agriculture



Staff Author