Strengthening Border Quarantine to Prevent Red Imported Fire Ant Infestation
□ Following the continuous discovery of red imported fire ants inside 'landscape stone' loading containers imported from
China on April 24 and May 20*, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Minister Gae-ho Lee, hereinafter
MAFRA) said that it has strengthened the quarantine for 'Chinese landscape stone', which will come to effect from May 27.
* Since September 2017, red imported fire ants were discovered total 10 times, which include 6 incidents from imported
cargo (3 landscape stone, 1 rubber tree seedling, 1 bamboo, and 1 vacuum cleaner).
○ The key purpose of strengthened quarantine is to expand from sampling (approximately 80%)* of 'Chinese landscape
stone' loaded containers to entire opening inspection.
* Sampling Standard: Entire amount for 1 - 3, 4 or more for 4 - 6, 5 or more for 7 - 10, 6 or more for 11 - 20, 8 or
more for 21 - 30, 10 or more for 31 - 50, 15 or more for 51 or more
○ However, to reduce inconvenience from entire opening inspection of 'Chinese landscape stone', sampling inspection
shall be conducted after sterilization if the cargo owner accepts voluntary sterilization.
○ Also, MAFRA announced that entire opening inspection of containers shall be conducted where red imported fire ants are
found from 'landscape stone' from other countries.
○ For reference, since the initial discovery of red imported fire ants from 'landscape stone' in September 2018, such
item has been designated to conduct quarantine as concerned item for pest and infectious disease.
□ Previously, in the event of discovery of suspected red imported fire ants, the final confirmation was made by sending
to the quarantine headquarters in Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do after the initial diagnosis at the local headquarters, but in
the improved system, the confirmation will be made at the quarantine headquarters using imaging system after the initial
diagnosis at the local headquarters so that emergency measures can be made immediately.
○ Likewise, once the diagnostic processes are improved, the time taken from discovery of red imported fire ants to final
confirmation will be saved from 3 - 4 hours to 1 hour.
□ Since the initial discovery in September 2017, MAFRA has performed diverse quarantine measures including entire opening
inspection of quarantine item loading containers such as coconut shells that have high possibility of harmful ants,
inspection outside containers and loading sites of containers that transit high risk areas and monitoring inspection of
non-plant loading containers from Guangdong, China (collaboration of Korea Customs Service).
○ MAFRA plans to continue to strengthen quarantine measures to non-plants with possibility of foreign pests such as red
imported fire ants by adding them to quarantine targets through precise risk analysis.
□ In addition, MAFRA urged importers and imported item handlers to immediately declare (☏054-912-0616) any foreign pests