Associated Pallet, Inc. | Industrial Drying & Sterilization | Premium Hardwoods, Inc. | Timber Program

International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

- When will the new standard become effective?
- Do providers have a license or a stamp?
- Will there be requirements to prove that material was fumigated?
- Which countries are likely to ask for bark-free or debarked material?
- Does this rule apply to all species of wood?
- What about peeler cores?
- At the time of effectivity, what about wood materials that are already en route? Will there be a "grace period"?
- Is there a plan for revision of the standard if issues surface during implementation?
- Exactly how do users get a copy of the specifications for Heat Treatment?
- If I comply with the IPPC standard as it reads now, will the countries that currently have regulations in place accept those shipments?
- Can I apply the markings as shown even if there is no grading agency oversight process established within my country right now?
- When will the wooden pallet industry be ready to heat treat softwoods AND hardwoods as per this standard?
- What is the estimated cost increase for heat treated materials compared with untreated?
- Can we still use untreated materials on shipments between NAFTA countries (i.e., Canada, US, Mexico)?
- When will countries (i.e., China) that currently require paper certifications for heat treatment/fumigation switch to a paperless marking protocol?
- What will be required for shipments to and from those countries that are NOT part of the IPPC?
- What is being done to review and approve other treatment methods such as irradiation?
- After the IPPC standard becomes effective, will I still be able to ship materials that were treated and marked per EU regulations or other country regs? (example: pallets marked "China Treated" that were fumigated before).
- Even though the IPPC standard defines a paperless protocol for compliance, are there any statements we should put on shipping documentation to assist inspectors? (Example: "All packaging within this shipment complies with the IPPC standards" along with bug symbol).
- How stable is this standard? What is the timetable for potential changes to it?
- Are there any requirements for dunnage?

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When will the new standard become effective?
The standard, approved March 15, 2002, is now in place but it doesn't become effective until the receiving countries enact the appropriate regulations. [top]

Do providers have a license or a stamp?
HT "providers" must be registered with the ALSC enforcement agencies. APHIS is still determining how to provide oversight over the fumigation program. [top]

Will there be requirements to prove that material was fumigated?
There will be a program to monitor activities of fumigators providing services under the program. [top]

Which countries are likely to ask for bark-free or debarked material?
We are guessing here, but the European Union countries are the ones who supported the "debarking" requirement in the IPPC meeting. It is unclear if they would adopt the debarking provision for all countries rather than on a "technical justification" basis for particular countries. [top]

Does this rule apply to all species of wood?
It is not a rule; it is a standard. But yes, it does apply to all species of wood. [top]

What about peeler cores?
Peeler cores are specifically exempted from other treatments but wood packing material manufactured from peeler cores would need to be marked under the program.
[top]

At the time of effectivity, what about wood materials that are already en route? Will there be a "grace period"?
The standard doesn't address this but our expectation is that there would be a phased in implementation period for each country. [top]

Is there a plan for revision of the standard if issues surface during implementation?
There is no plan for revision as such, but standards are reviewed every three years. [top]

Exactly how do users get a copy of the specifications for Heat Treatment?
There is no specification (other than the standard) at present but the ALSC enforcement rules can be downloaded from the APHIS web site or the ALSC web site. [top]

If I comply with the IPPC standard as it reads now, will the countries that currently have regulations in place accept those shipments?
Not until they adopt regulations that are consistent with the IPPC standard. For example, countries with "higher" standards such as Australia would keep their current requirements until the IPPC standard is adopted in Australia. But considering the IPPC standard is more stringent than the EU standard, appropriately treated and marked wood should be acceptable for the EU. [top]

Can I apply the markings as shown even if there is no grading agency oversight process established within my country right now?
No, since the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO), of the exporting country (in this case, APHIS), is responsible for oversight of the program, the use of marks must be coordinated with the NPPO. Companies that use the marks improperly will be investigated and possibly fined. [top]

When will the wooden pallet industry be ready to heat treat softwoods AND hardwoods as per this standard?
The softwood industry is already complying substantially with the measures since the EU program has now been in effect for six months. The hardwood industry is now the main focus of further efforts. It is unclear when the hardwood industry will be "truly" ready but the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) is a member of the ALSC heat treatment program. [top]

What is the estimated cost increase for heat treated materials compared with untreated?
This is not a quarantine issue. Please consult the National Wood Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA). [top]

Can we still use untreated materials on shipments between NAFTA countries (i.e., Canada, US, Mexico)?
Canada, the US and Mexico still need to harmonize their entry requirements and this issue is still far from settled. But even if untreated materials are allowed for within-NAPPO movements, it is the market for wood packing that will be control the issue. APHIS expects that shipments between the US, Canada and Mexico will have to meet the conditions of the international standard since many of the products are shipped on to third countries.
[top]

When will countries (i.e., China) that currently require paper certifications for heat treatment/fumigation switch to a paperless marking protocol?
APHIS is discussing harmonization of wood packing requirements with China in a bilateral meeting scheduled this month. [top]

What will be required for shipments to and from those countries that are NOT part of the IPPC?
The will have to meet the requirements of the importing country. [top]

What is being done to review and approve other treatment methods such as irradiation?
APHIS is not involved in the development of new technology for wood treatment. However, the IPPC will review new treatments periodically. [top]

After the IPPC standard becomes effective, will I still be able to ship materials that were treated and marked per EU regulations or other country regs? (example: pallets marked "China Treated" that were fumigated before).
The presumption is that the packing materials will have to be marked in accordance with the international standard. [top]

Even though the IPPC standard defines a paperless protocol for compliance, are there any statements we should put on shipping documentation to assist inspectors? (Example: "All packaging within this shipment complies with the IPPC standards" along with bug symbol).
APHIS is making no such recommendation at this time. Any such statements will be at the request of importing countries. [top]

How stable is this standard? What is the timetable for potential changes to it?
The IPPC standard only applies to the export of non manufactured wood packaging material used in the transport of commodities.
[top]

Are there any requirements for dunnage?
Dunnage should be marked and treated under one of the approved measures of heat treatment or fumigation. If not treated under one of these measures, at a minimum wood will be required to be made from bark free wood and free of pests and signs of live pests. Dunnage includes blocking and bracing used to secure or support the commodity. [top]

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