Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content


iaea-shipment-stroy-sterile-flies.PNGTransboundary shipment of sterile insects has taken place on a continuous basis for 55 years (since 1963). The total number of sterile insects shipped has been estimated at one trillion in thousands of shipments across borders to 23 recipient countries from 50 sterile insect factories in 25 countries. During this long period and many precedents, no problems associated with possible hazards have been identified, and thus the shipment of sterile insects have never been subjected to any regulatory action. The table below shows the history of transboundary shipments which started in 1963 with the shipments of sterile Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens, Loew), from Monterrey, Mexico, to Texas, USA.


  Table of the history of transboundary shipment of sterile insects 

    Year         Species

Site of production

Approximate amount shipped (million pupae)RecipientObservations
1963-1990Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludenMonterrey, MexicoUnknownTexas, USA 
1970/71Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitataSeibersdorf, AustriaUnknownProcida, Italy, and GreeceRelatively small amount since sterile flies were used for field trials
1970Mediterranean fruit flyCosta RicaUnknownNicaraguaRelatively small amount since sterile flies were used for field trials
1975-1977Mediterranean fruit flyMadrid, Spain302Canary IslandsSterile pupae shipped from the IAEA laboratories (Seibersdorf) to a packing and emergence facility in Guatemala for field trials and staff training in SIT techniques
1978Mediterranean fruit flySeibersdorf, AustriaUnknownGuatemala 
1979-2017Mediterranean fruit flyMetapa, Chiapas, Mexico357 600GuatemalaTransboundary shipments have been carried out periodically for the past 36 years
1989-1994Mediterranean fruit flyMetapa Chiapas, Mexico6 670California, USATo assist the CDFA in eradication of medfly outbreaks
1989-1990Mediterranean fruit flySeibersdorf, AustriaUnknownIsraelPilot trials
1990Mediterranean fruit flyMetapa Chiapas, Mexico552ChileSterile flies donated by the Mexican government to Chile
1990-1991New World Screwworm (NWS) Cochliomyia hominivoraxTuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico1 800Tripoli, LybiaTo assist the eradication of a NWS outbreak
1990-1997Tsetse fly (Glossina spp.)Seibersdorf, Austria8Tanga, TanzaniaTo assist Tsetse eradication from Tanzania
1993-2006NWSTuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico107 000Central American CountriesTo assist NWS eradication from Central America
1994Mediterranean fruit flySeibersdorf, Austria60TunisiaPilot trials
1996-2000Mexican  fruit flyMetapa Chiapas, Mexico2 511California, USATo assist the CDFA in eradication of Mexican fruit fly outbreaks
1994-2017Mediterranean fruit flyEl Pino, Guatemala152 100California, USATo assist the CDFA in eradication of medfly outbreaks and as part of the preventive release programme
1997/98Mediterranean fruit flyMadeira, Portugal206IsraelIn support of pilot suppression programme
1997-2000Mediterranean fruit flyEl Pino, Guatemala3 700IsraelIn support of pilot suppression programme
1998-2017Mediterranean fruit flyEl Pino, Guatemala97 720Florida, USATo assist the State of Florida in eradication of medfly outbreaks and as part of the preventive release programme
1999-2000Mediterranean fruit flyEl Pino, Guatemala720South AfricaIn support of pilot suppression programme
2003-2006Mediterranean fruit flyMendoza, Argentina1 681Valencia, SpainIn support of suppression programme
2011-2013Mediterranean fruit flyValencia, Spain425CroatiaIn support of suppression programme
2008-2017Mediterranean fruit flyBio-Fly Israel650JordanIn support of suppression programme
2010, 2012, and 2014 to 2017Mediterranean fruit flyBio-Fly Israel3 289CroatiaIn support of suppression programme
2010-2018Tsetse flySlovakia9SenegalTo assist Tsetse eradication from Senegal
2014-2017Mediterranean fruit flyValencia, Spain600MoroccoIn support of suppression programme
2015-2017Mediterranean fruit flyEl Pino, Guatemala4 000Dominican RepublicIn support of eradication programme
2016-2017NWSCOPEG Panama194Florida, USAIn support of outbreak eradication
2008-2017Mediterranean fruit flyEl Pino, Guatemala*260 000Metapa Chiapas, MexicoIn support of eradication and containment programme
  Total1 001 797  


   Only in this case, insects were shipped as eggs.


Read more information on Packing, Shipping, Holding and Release of sterile insects.