QIVA APPOINTS YOUNG SENIOR VP
CUSTOMS HOLDS “LINE OF DEFENSE” AGAINST AGRICULTURAL DISEASES
U.S. Customs has tightened its oversight of agricultural shipments impacted by recent outbreaks of foot and mouth and mad cow diseases from European countries and other world regions.
“Customs is the first line of defense” for law enforcement agencies of the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, said Paul K. Schwartz, director of trade enforcement and control for Customs in Washington. “We’re working with the other agencies to identify products and importers, and to set our system to flag them.”
Some shippers complain that cargo has been held up unnecessarily by the tighter controls. Customs, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Food and Drug Administration are improving their communications to avoid delaying unaffected cargo.
Scientists and industry analysts believe the government will remain on heightened alert against the agricultural diseases through the summer. “We feel we’re in good shape in keeping these diseases out,” Schwartz said.