Categorized | Agriculture

Interisland coffee transport rules in effect


The state Department of Agriculture has established permanent rules that require permits, treatments and inspections in order to transport unroasted coffee beans and other coffee-related materials from Hawaii Island to other islands to prevent the spread of the coffee berry borer (CBB).

The rules became effective Feb. 24 and are similar to interim rules that were placed in effect in December 2010.

The rules permanently place Hawaii Island under a quarantine order that requires a permit from HDOA to transport unroasted coffee beans, coffee plants and plant parts, used coffee bags and coffee harvesting equipment to other islands that are not infested with the coffee berry borer.

The rules also require certain treatments and inspection by HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors prior to shipping. Inspectors will either attach a tag, label or stamp to indicate the shipment passed inspection requirements.

For unroasted coffee beans, acceptable treatment protocols include fumigation, freezing and heat treatment prior to shipping.

HDOA inspection stations are located in Hilo and at Keahole Airport in Kona. While there is no charge for permits, normal inspection and certification fees apply.

Transporting of coffee plants and plant parts for propagation from Hawaii Island to a non-infested island requires treatment with an approved pesticide and quarantine and monitoring in a state facility for a period of not less than one year.

“The rules were established to give us the best chance to prevent the spread of the coffee berry borer to other islands,” said Russell Kokubun, chairman of the state Board of Agriculture. “We appreciate the cooperation of coffee growers and shippers on Hawaii Island in helping to protecting other Hawaii coffee regions from this serious pest.”

The quarantine requirements do not effect interisland shipments of roasted coffee beans. The requirements also do not apply to shipments of coffee beans, plants, plant parts or harvesting equipment that are being exported directly out of the state and are not being transshipped through other islands.

CBB (Hypothenemus hampei), is a small beetle and is native to Central Africa and is also found in many coffee-growing regions of the world, including Central and South America. The beetle bores into the coffee berry to lay its eggs. The larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing the yield and quality of the bean. Because the larvae are inside the bean, it makes it difficult to control with pesticides.

Hawaii Island is the only island where CBB has been detected. It was first confirmed in Kona in September 2010 and was detected in the Ka‘u region in May 2011.

Hawaii coffee growers in non-infested areas are also encouraged to be vigilant and report any suspected CBB infestations to HDOA’s Plant Pest Control Branch on Oahu at (808) 973-9522 or e-mail:

More information on CBB is available on the department’s website at:

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