International Shipments – Wood Packaging Material
The likelihood of finding non-compliant wood packaging material (WPM) is more possible than ever given today’s global trade and marketing systems. Each month there are many documented instances of non-compliant WPM found by Agriculture Specialists at Ports of Entry within the United States. Wood originating from living or dead trees may be infested by plant pests. Wood packaging material is frequently made of raw wood that may not have undergone sufficient processing or treatment to remove or kill pests; it is also very often reused, repaired, or remanufactured. The true origin of any piece of wood is difficult to determine; and therefore, the phytosanitary status cannot be easily determined.
The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM 15) is the regulation for Wood Packaging Material in International Trade. This IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) standard describes internationally accepted measures that may be applied to WPM to significantly reduce the risk of introduction and spreading of most of the quarantined pests that may be associated with that material.
The ISPM 15 regulation is applicable to all wood packaging material. WPM is defined as wood or wood products (excluding paper products) used in supporting, protecting, or carrying a commodity. Examples of WPM include bins, boxes, bracing, cases, containers, crates, drums, dunnage, load boards, pallets, pallet collars, reels, and skids. Wood packaging material does NOT include WPM made entirely from thin wood (6mm or less in thickness), made wholly of processed wood material, such as plywood, particle board, oriented strand board, or veneer that has been created using glue, heat or pressure, or a combination thereof, or sawdust, wood shavings, and wood wool.
All applicable wood packaging material used in international shipments should be marked with the valid IPPC logo indicating that this WPM is compliant. Two treatment or processing options are present. The wood may undergo heat treatment, or it may be fumigated with methyl bromide. WPM that is marked and certified in compliance with ISPM 15 may be reused regardless of country of origin. However, ISPM 15 compliant WPM that has been repaired or remanufactured must be recertified under the HT or MB options.
What can you do to comply with ISPM 15? You should require ISPM 15 compliant wood packaging material in your contact with international vendors. Educate your supply chain on the ISPM 15 requirements. Understand the alternatives and perform a cost benefit analysis to WPM. Lastly remember that there is a financial cost for non-compliance.
Please contact email@example.com to reach Andrew Tunis, International Operations Manager at PNG Worldwide LLC, with any questions regarding how your company can stay compliant.