Cargo ship ordered to leave US waters because it was carrying invasive pest

Bulk carrier Pan Jasmine (IMO 9548328) was ordered to leave US waters after agriculture specialists of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Port of New Orleans discovered invasive insects in the wood used to secure its previous cargo offloaded earlier in Mexico.

The ship had arrived at the anchorage of Davant, downriver from New Orleans at mile marker 54, on July 17th, having previously offloaded a shipment of aluminium in Vera Cruz, Mexico. It had travelled from Paradip, India.

The CBO said that “the wood used to pack the aluminium had not been offloaded in Mexico and was left scattered on the deck of the Pan Jasmine, which is unusual. No reason was provided to CBP as to why the dunnage was refused discharge in Mexico, and this raised a red flag. An examination of the dunnage revealed burrowing holes and fresh sawdust near the holes, which indicates pests”.

The wood was found to be infested with five separate pests, two of which required action.

“Two of the pests discovered pose an agriculture threat to the U.S. They were positively identified by USDA entomologists as Cerambycidae and Myrmicinae.

The Cerambycidae Family of Longhorned Beetles contains many non-native species that pose a serious threat to the environment. The larvae of invasive wood-boring beetles can feed on a wide variety of trees in the US, eventually killing them. The Myrmicinae queen ants are a concern because they are capable of producing a colony. The additional pests found have an established presence in the U.S. including Bostrichidae, a common wood boring pest,” CBP said.

CBP said that, due to the large volume of dunnage – wood used to keep cargo in place on ships – and the presence of highly mobile pests, the vessel was ordered to depart US waters immediately, load the dunnage into the cargo hold and clean the decks prior to returning to the US.

The Pan Jasmine departed July 21st to Freeport, Bahamas, for dunnage disposal services.

2010-built, Panama-flagged, 20,865 gt Pan Jasmine is owned by POS Maritime DD SA care of manager Pan Ocean Co Ltd of Seoul, South Kore. ISM manager is POS SM Co Ltd of Busan, South Korea. It is entered with Britannia on behalf of POS Maritime DD SA.