New Rules for Wood Packaging Materials (Pallets)

Jan. 1, 2006
In the past several years there has been a lot of talk about the fits and starts of ISPM 15 (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures no. 15),

In the past several years there has been a lot of talk about the fits and starts of ISPM 15 (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures no. 15), the international regulation impacting wood packaging material (WPM). As of January 1, more countries are enacting searches and enforcement of the regulation. It appears the issue of international regulations is no longer the issue.

The following information comes from Famous Pacific Shipping (FPS) in Durban, South Africa. This international freight forwarding company has told its customers that the new regulations for import of wood packing materials to Turkey, China and Australia are in effect.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) endorsed guidelines and recommendations to achieve international harmonization of phytosanitary measures, have been in the works since March 2002. Its aim is to facilitate trade and avoid the use of unjustifiable measures as barriers to trade.

As a member of FAO, Republic of Turkey began enforcement of ISPM #15 standards on January 01. On the same day, China began implementing its new wooden package policy, based on the principles of ISPM #15.

China's new rules require that all WPM used for consignments to China are treated with measures approved by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection & Quarantine of China (AQSIQ).

The WPM must be labeled with an approved manufacturer IPPC Mark and certified by the relevant quarantine authorities of exporting countries or regions.

China Inspection & Quarantine (CIQ) authorities will inspect all WPM at the port of entry. Any non-compliance WPM will either be treated, destroyed or returned along with the consignments under the supervision of CIQ.

In Australia, evidence of an AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) approved quarantine treatment will need to be provided for all solid wood packaging, and dunnage to be granted quarantine clearance without AQIS intervention.

As a result of this new regulation, all wood packaging material (including pallets and any other wood material to be used for transport packaging, preserving or blocking/bracing purposes) entering Turkey, Australia and China has to be:

  • Debarked;
  • Subjected to fumigation by Methyl Bromide or heat-treatment;
  • Marked in accordance with ISPM #15.

If the above requirements are not fulfilled, the cargo will be fumigated, heat-treated, destroyed or may even be returned to the port of loading. In such cases, the shipper and cargo receiver would be held fully liable for any charges incurred.

Since this is just the beginning of implementation of these regulations, it remains to be seen if inspections will slow entry of goods into all the countries that have signed on to the agreement.

Source: Famous Pacific Shipping Company