New restrictions on wood packaging materials shipped between Canada and the United States

Source: PlantServices.com

Apr 28, 2011

A new proposal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) would remove the exemption from ISPM 15 on wood packaging material moving between Canada and the United States in both directions beginning in 2011. 

“Right now, pallets move back and forth between Canada and the United States without the special treatment that’s required under ISPM 15, the regulation that applies to wood products shipped into most other countries,” Gary Sharon, vice president, Litco International (www.litco.com), explains.

Beginning in spring 2011, there will be a period of “informed compliance”. During this time, wood packaging material that is not treated will be allowed to enter. However, the carrier will be notified that wood packaging will be required to comply once ISPM 15 is fully implemented.

Sharon adds, ‘What is important for shippers to know is that during the “informed compliance” period, if infestation is found than loads will either be refused or treatment required prior to entering. For companies shipping back and forth between Canada and the US, now is the time to convert to ISPM 15 approved packaging to avoid unnecessary costs and delays.” 

The proposed amendment was posted by APHIS on December 2, 2010. The proposal would remove the exemption that currently allows wood packaging material to ship between Canada and the United States without first meeting the treatment and marking requirements  of the ISPM 15 regulations (http://www.ispm15.com/ISPM15_Revised_2009.pdf) that apply to wood packaging material to and from all other countries

ISPM 15 regulations require that wood packaging material be heat-treated to kill insects or larvae that could infest native woodlands. “This action is necessary in order to prevent the dissemination and spread of pests via wood packaging material from Canada,” APHIS stated.

Similarly, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced that it has agreed with APHIS to a “harmonized approach to removing the exemption from ISPM 15 on wood packaging material moving between Canada and the US (both directions).” According to CFIA, the requirements would be phased in between 2011 and 2112, with full implementation in place by the summer of 2012, although “no actual time frames have been confirmed at this date.”

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