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CBP Steps Up Enforcement Against Untreated WPM

Monday, October 2, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: NWPCA
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CBP steps up enforcement against untreated wood packaging

The immediate issuance of penalties beginning November 1 will further “motivate” compliance with regulations surrounding wood packaging materials in international shipments, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a statement.

By Chris Gillis, American Shipper, Friday, September 29, 2017: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will begin assessing immediate penalties for shippers with improperly treated and marked wood packaging materials in their international shipments starting Nov. 1, the agency said in a statement.

Beginning in September 2005, non-exempt wood-packaging material (WPM) imported into the United States has had to be treated at approved origin facilities to kill off any potential timber pests. The treated material must include a visible mark that satisfies the International Plant Protection Convention’s International Standards of Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM 15) regulation. Without this mark, the wood packaging material is deemed to be "untreated."

CBP said this immediate issuance of penalties will further “motivate” WPM compliance and is “a change from the previous published threshold of five violations.” In addition, the agency said there will be “no yearly reset for calculating repeat violations as each WPM violation may incur a penalty.”

The U.S. wood-packaging materials industry has generally been pleased with the impact that the ISPM 15 rules have had on stopping further infestations of invasive timber pests, which can cause billions of dollars in losses to the nation’s lumber, fruit, and nut industries, as well as cause devastating destruction to national park lands.

“There has been a tremendous decrease in non-compliant wood products entering the country, signaling success of U.S. enforcement activities and that of ISPM 15 itself,” Brent J. McClendon, president and CEO of the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association, told American Shipper.

“ISPM-15 treatments, when properly implemented, have been scientifically proven to achieve 100 percent mortality of quarantine pests at an extremely high level of reliability,” he added.

Before implementation of ISPM-15, several high-profile invasive pests garnered national attention, and led to the international consensus for the regulations. These included outbreaks in the United States during the 1990s of the Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer, both of which were believe to be introduced through untreated wood packaging materials.

“Eradication efforts can prove to be very expensive and ineffective once an exotic pest is introduced,” CBP said. “Therefore, preventing introduction is critical with these exotic pests.”

Since the wide scale adoption of ISPM-15 in the United States, there have been no new large scale establishments of invasive wood-boring insects, McClendon noted.

“We continue to advocate for supply chain education/outreach and enforcement at our nation’s ports,” he said.