The Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) is a destructive forest pest known to spread via ocean-going vessels in international trade. Vessels calling at certain ports in the Asia Pacific between May and September should therefore be inspected and “certified free of AGM” prior to departure, this to minimise the potential for regulatory action when arriving in a country where the pest is not native.
AGM is an exotic pest with established populations only in countries in the Asia Pacific, such as Russia, China, Korea, and Japan. If introduced in countries where it does not exist naturally, it has the potential to seriously affect the country’s agricultural and forest resources. Adult moths frequently lay their egg masses on vessels and shipping containers, and since these egg clusters often survive to hatch at ports of call around the world, exclusion efforts are considered a priority by many local port authorities.
Preventing the introduction and spread of AGM is a shared responsibility that relies on cumulative efforts at origin, en route and at arrival in port. However, it is the responsibility of the ship operator to meet all port entry requirements related to AGM and managing the risk at its origin to ensure that a vessel is free of AGM upon departure from ports in the infested areas is recognised as the key measure.