Is Termination of ISPM-15 Exemption for U.S. – Canada Trade Finally at Hand?

ISPM 15 Exemption to End for Canada – U.S. Trade

Below: HT stamped pallets from Singapore and the U.S.

LHT pallet HT

HT stamp1


After years of delays and earlier anticipated launches, it now seems the termination of the ISPM 15 exemption between the U.S. and Canada will occur within 2 to 3 years, according to Brad Gething, Technical Manager for the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association, as reported recently at Pallet Central. As a result of such a move, solid wood packaging, including pallets, would be required to be ISPM 15 compliant. Until present, cross border trade between the U.S. and Canada has not been required to adhere to international requirements.

After implementation, solid wood pallets and packaging crossing will need to be compliant. Non-solid wood pallets such as presswood pallets, paper and plastic will continue to be exempt.

At a U.S. – Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) stakeholder briefing which took place at the end of June, a timeline was proposed for the removal of the exemption. One official, Osama El-Lissy, Deputy Administrator, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) suggested that a Federal Register notice could be published prior to the end of the year, then commencing a sequence of phased-in implementation steps, combined with education and outreach efforts. Full enforcement could require up to two additional years.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently posted the proposed steps that would take place after publication of the U.S. regulation for solid wood packaging.