Press Release: by US CBP on Regulated Garbage, May 5, 2020

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Press Release: by US Customs and Border Protection, May 5, 2020

The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recognizes the unprecedented challenges the current COVID-19 pandemic poses. However, we must also remember there are other diseases that can affect our food chain, like Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), African Swine Fever (ASF), New Castle, as well as plant and fruit (Med FLY) diseases.

The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulates foreign garbage that is of plant or animal origin, including food scraps, packaging materials, and any items that have come in contact with these materials.

Private vessel owners are reminded that regulated garbage cannot be thrown into domestic garbage containers or disposed of at the local landfill. Regulated garbage must be handled by an APHIS-approved facility that is capable of incinerating or sterilizing the garbage.

Vessels owners arriving from foreign to US Virgin Islands must ensure that all foreign garbage is placed in covered leak-proof containers and within the vessel railings while in U.S. waters.

In view of the above, if you need to off-load your garbage at a USVI port of entry, please notify CBP Agriculture Specialist Unit for guidance. For the St. Thomas/St. John area, please call 340-774-4554, for St. Croix USVI area please call 340-778-1696. You may also contact the CBP Agriculture Unit Supervisors:

St. Thomas/St. John oniquee.winston@cbp.dhs.gov

Supervisory CBP Agriculture Specialist

340-774-4554 (O)

340-626-1542(C)

St. Croix nikki.j.thomas@cbp.dhs.gov

Supervisory CBP Agriculture Specialist

340-778-1696 (O)

340-474-9487 (C)

*In addition, for the St. Thomas/St. John area you may contact Mr. Nate Fletcher, approved permit holder and hauler for the USVI National Park at 508-202-3953.

The hauler will transport regulated garbage to the approved USDA handling facilities at Yacht Haven to ensure proper handling and disposal.

In accordance to regulatory requirements, all off-loaded garbage can only be handled by establishments authorized by APHIS to properly dispose of this material and must only be placed in containers labeled “Foreign Garbage”, “Regulated Garbage” or “lnternational Garbage”.

Dumping of foreign garbage into U.S. territorial waters or non-designated garbage receptacles is illegal, and under Federal law subject to fines. 

Other mitigating measurements

Vessels may remove or “purge” their stores and garbage and disinfect, if required, to attain “domestic status.” By purging their stores and garbage, vessel owners are provided an opportunity to reduce their costs associated with garbage removal. Vessel owners wishing to have their vessel arriving from foreign countries purged must contact the local CBP office listed above. Vessels may also be purged after travel from Hawaii or a U.S. territory or possession if PPQ, CBP or APHIS designated inspectors are available. However, the purge is only valid while in Hawaii or the U.S. territory or possession where the purge occurred.

You may also visit USDA https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/regulated-garbage/ct_regulated_garbage

Please note that CBP will continue to evaluate the situation and provide updated guidance as appropriate.

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