Fifty truckloads of new automobiles were released Friday from the Pier 98 Annex after government inspectors determined that tiny red insects on the vehicles presented no hazard.
U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologists concluded the little red arachnids were of the species Trombidiidae, commonly known as red velvet mites.
After a truck driver spotted the insects Thursday, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection placed an agriculture hold on the trucks and their cargo, new automobiles from South Korea.
"Operations may resume" at the port facility, Customs spokesman Stephen Sapp said after the lifting of the hold.
- Paul Nussbaum