TIMCON engages in productive dialogue with plant health scientists

The Timber Packaging & Pallet Confederation (TIMCON) attended a meeting with the International Forestry Quarantine Research Group (IFQRG), which advises the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) on phytosanitary measures and treatments to control the movement of pests endangering the world’s forests. It was part of a week-long meeting of the IFQRG held in Cardiff to review global phytosanitary issues.

The aim of the event was to facilitate dialogue and understanding between the timber packaging and packaging sector and the scientific community who are guiding policies affecting the sector.

Gil Covey, president of FEFPEB and past president of TIMCON, made a presentation to the meeting about the European pallet and packaging industry and its scale and importance to world trade and the forest-based industries. He highlighted key concerns, particularly the proposed extension of ISPM 15 regulations by the EC to cover intra-Community movements of timber pallets and packaging – an issue the FEFPEB ISPM 15 taskforce is already actively involved with at the European level.

He stressed the importance of the following:
• moving towards global harmonisation for implementing the regulations;
• realistic regulation of the existing 3 billion total of pallets in circulation in Europe;
• rules for repairs should be “practical and commensurate with risk”; and
• adequate lead time is given to build up heat treatment capacity in Europe

New approved measures are highly desirable, he added, and the timber pallet and packaging industry is ready and willing to assist.

TIMCON hosted a dinner for IFQRG following the meeting,

John Dye, TIMCON president said: “The meeting between TIMCON and IFQRG was extremely positive, and saw an open exchange of views that has further developed mutual understanding between our industry and the highest research body of plant health scientists.

“Ultimately, our industry and plant health experts share the same objective: to protect our forests and safeguard future supplies of timber, allowing it to remain the dominant material for pallets and packaging. We are very grateful to Dr Eric Allen and IFQRG members for giving us the opportunity to present the issues facing our industry and have agreed that continuing dialogue is essential for both parties.”

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