A new proposal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) would remove the exemption from ISPM 15 on wood packaging material moving between Canada and the United States in both directions beginning in 2011. “If adopted, the proposal will have a significant impact on shipments on pallets,” says Gary Sharon, vice president, Litco International (http://www.litco.com), North America’s leading source for presswood pallets.
“Right now, wooden pallets move back and forth between Canada and the United States without the special treatment that’s required under ISPM 15, the regulation that applies to wood products shipped into most other countries,” Sharon explains.
Beginning in spring 2011, there will be a period of “informed compliance.” During this time, wood packaging material that is not treated will be allowed to enter. However, the carrier will be notified that wood packaging will be required to comply once ISPM 15 is fully implemented.
Sharon adds, “What is important for shippers to know is that during the ‘informed compliance’ period, if insect infestation is found, loads will either be refused or treatment required prior to entering. For companies shipping back and forth between Canada and the U.S., now is the time to convert to ISPM 15 approved export pallets and other packaging to avoid unnecessary costs and delays.”
The proposed amendment was posted by APHIS on December 2, 2010. The proposal would remove the exemption that currently allows wood packaging material to ship between Canada and the United States without first meeting the treatment and marking requirements of the ISPM 15 regulations (http://www.ispm15.com/ISPM15_Revised_2009.pdf) that apply to wood packaging material to and from all other countries.
ISPM 15 regulations require that wood packaging material be heat-treated to kill insects or larvae that could infest native woodlands. “This action is necessary in order to prevent the dissemination and spread of pests via wood packaging material from Canada,” APHIS stated.
Similarly, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced that it has agreed with APHIS to a “harmonized approach to removing the exemption from ISPM 15 on wood packaging material moving between Canada and the U.S. (both directions).” According to CFIA, the requirements would be phased in between 2011 and 2012, with full implementation in place by the summer of 2012, although “no actual time frames have been confirmed at this date.”
The Inca Pallet from Litco International is a viable solution for those companies that want to prepare now for the proposed changes, Sharon says. “The pallet is a presswood product manufactured from wood waste and byproducts that are molded under high heat and pressure,” says Sharon. “Inca pallets are an economical solution that is already exempt from ISPM 15 without further treatment. A significant portion of our customers rely on our Inca pallets to move their loads, hassle free, through foreign ports. They have been used for many years to ship product around the world.”
Litco ships from two strategically located facilities in Dover, Ohio and Sardis, Mississippi. Sharon adds that the Ohio plant is especially well positioned to serve manufacturers shipping to and from Canada.