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Voluntary Ant-Free Certification Program


What is the Voluntary Ant-Free Certification Program?

Red imported fire ants and other actionable ant pests are often found associated with bee colonies. In cooperation with several states, CDFA participates in a voluntary Ant-Free Certification Program to facilitate the entry of ant-free shipments into the State.

Under the voluntary Ant-Free Certification Program, agricultural officials in other states will inspect bee shipments destined to California for pests, specifically ants, and excessive debris which may harbor ants.

Shipments found free of ants will be issued an Ant-Free Certificate by officials in participating states.

The Ant-Free Certificate can then be presented at the Calfornia Border Protection Station to facilitate the inspection and entry of ant-free shipments.

What are the Benefits of this Program?

Having shipments pre-inspected for ants by agricultural officials in other states can enable a faster inspection and clearance process at the California Border Protection Station.

Although this certification is not required to enter California, beekeepers are urged to have their colonies inspected and certified to expedite entry.

What is the BPS Policy when Actionable Ants are Found in a Certified Ant-Free Shipment?

For shipments accompanied by the Ant-Free Certificate:

  • If no actionable ants are found, the shipment will be allowed to enter under quarantine and off-loaded at the final destination prior to inspection by the County Agricultural Commissioner (CAC).
  • If five or fewer worker actionable ants are found, the shipment will be allowed to enter under quarantine but will not be allowed to be off-loaded without prior authorization from the CAC.
  • If more than five worker actionable ants, or any other life stage (queen, eggs, etc), are found, the shipment will be rejected.

For shipments NOT accompanied by the Ant-Free Certificate:

  • If any number or life stage of actionable ants are found, shipment will be rejected.

Rejected shipments must be cleaned and/or reconditioned and re-inspected prior to entry into the State.

4/2/15