October 9 - Importers into the USA have been warned that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is about to get a lot stricter on enforcing regulations concerning wood packaging materials.

Since September 16, 2005, non-exempt wood packaging material imported into the USA must have been treated at approved facilities in the places of origin to kill harmful timber pests that may be present.

The wood packaging material must display a visible, legible, and permanent mark certifying treatment, preferably on at least two sides of the article.

The mark must be approved under the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) in its International Standards of Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM 15) Regulation of wood packaging material in international trade.

Any wood packaging material from foreign origin found to be lacking appropriate IPPC-compliant markings or found to be infested with a timber pest is considered not properly treated to kill timber pests and in violation of the regulation.

CBP, which is responsible for enforcing the regulation at ports of entry, has announced that effective November 1, 2017, responsible parties with a documented wood packaging material violation may be issued a penalty, which is a change from the previous published threshold of five violations. Furthermore, there will be no yearly reset for calculating repeat violations as each violation may incur a penalty.

The purpose of the wood packaging material requirement is to prevent the introduction of non-native timber pests.

The full CSMS may be accessed here: