APHIS Amends Import Requirements for Buxus spp., Euonymus spp., and Ilex spp. from Canada into the United States and territories

Effective December 19, 2023, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending entry requirements for the importation of certain plants for planting from Canada to prevent introduction of box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis, BTM) into the United States. APHIS is taking this action in response to the detection of BTM at a nursery in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, and subsequent detections in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. APHIS considers propagative hosts a high-risk pathway for the introduction of BTM.

Box tree moth is a serious pest of boxwood (Buxus spp.) and curry leaf tree (Murraya spp.) species, which are pathways for entry of the pest into the United States. BTM symptoms include green-black frass and silk threads on the host plant. Larvae feeding on leaves and bark can lead to the death of the affected plants.Currently, the importation of all propagative plant material, except seeds, of certain hosts of BTM are considered by APHIS “Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis (NAPPRA)”. Boxwood is currently considered NAPPRA from all countries except Canada. Euonymus is NAPPRA from Europe and is subject to post-entry quarantine import requirements from all other countries except Canada. Curry leaf tree is NAPPRA from all countries. Shipments of Buxus, Euonymus, and Ilex plants for planting from Canada were initially prohibited by Federal Order DA-2021-11. However, APHIS conducted a non-Buxus host range assessment for BTM, which concluded Ilex spp. are not hosts and identified conflicting reports of Euonymus alatus and E. japonicus being hosts.

APHIS is amending Federal Order DA-2021-11 based on the following updated information: 

  • CFIA’s pest risk management decision to add BTM to their regulated pest list and to establish the Province of Ontario as a regulated area;
  • Additional BTM detections outside of the CFIA BTM regulated area;
  • Official survey data provided by CFIA for the province of British Columbia;
  • APHIS’ BTM non-Buxus host assessment, which concluded that Euonymus and Ilex spp. are unlikely to be pathways for spread.

This Federal Order supersedes DA-2021-11 and modifies the entry requirements for Buxus spp. plants for planting imported from Canada into the United States and its territories. APHIS is removing restrictions for BTM on Euonymus spp. and Ilex spp. In addition, consistent with the requirements of the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 4, APHIS recognizes the province of British Columbia as a pest-free area for BTM. Importation of Buxus spp. plants produced in an area not certified by the Canada Food Inspection Agency as a pest free area remain prohibited. Buxus plants produced in the Canadian Nursery Certification Program or Greenhouse Certification Program are also ineligible for US importation unless the facilities are located in a pest-free area.

To prevent the introduction of BTM into the United States and territories, APHIS requires that Buxus spp. plants for planting produced in Canada be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating “The Buxus plants have been produced in a pest-free area for Cydalima perspectalis.” For additional information regarding this Federal Order, please contact Senior Regulatory