Since October 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agricultural specialists at the Brownsville, Texas, port of entry have intercepted pests found within solid wood packaging materials in 25 separate shipments.
Customs specialists’ examinations of 25 commercial trucks at the Veterans International Bridge cargo lot resulted in the discovery of live wood-boring insects. The bugs were collected from wooden pallets containing merchandise being imported into the U.S. from Mexico.
The collected insects were transported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Inspection Station at Los Indios, Texas, for identification, where the specimens were confirmed as quarantine-significant pests. As a result, the 25 shipments were exported back to Mexico.
In all cases, the wood packaging materials displayed the International Plant Protection Convention marking, which indicates pallets have been treated according to international standards. Penalties totaling $1.3 million have been issued to the importers who have made multiple attempts to enter with substandard packing materials.