It happens every day. Containers arrive in US ports with seeds inside and even attached to the outside of containers. This results in huge costs and delays for importers.
Lets take a look at what concerns Customs & Border Protection -
A Federal Noxious Weed (FNW) is an invasive plant species introduced into a non-native ecosystem. FNW lack competitors and natural enemies to control their populations, and are likely to cause harm.
The costs of inspection and remediation are high!
• Exam fees and delays
• USDA decontamination procedures
• Storage and detention
• Additional drayage fees
• Additional chassis fees
• Delays of several weeks or more
Impacts of invasive weed introduction resulting in higher levels of scrutiny -
• They increase soil erosion and can cause damage to streams and wetland areas which provide habitat for fish, plants, and animals.
• They decrease biodiversity within an ecosystem; invasive species are the 2nd leading cause of animal population decline and extinction worldwide. They displace native plants that wildlife and fish depend on for food.
• Invasive weeds are a leading cause of crop yield loss, causing billions of dollars each year.
• They reduce agricultural production and property values.
• They increase the frequency and risk of wildfires.
Best Practice Tips:
• Sweep, vacuum, or wash conveyances prior to loading and be cognizant of environmental factors increasing risk: high winds, container proximity to grass fields, etc.
• Ensure loaded cargo is clean and free of contaminants by vacuuming and/or washing conveyances prior to loading.
• Agree on loading practices in a Vendor Compliance Guide to ensure risks are mitigated as much as possible