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

Brief Video Version