Wood Packaging Material Penalties

Earlier today, Buckland received notice from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) regarding the Issuance of Wood Packaging Material Penalties under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.

Non-exempt wood packaging material must be treated to ensure that timber pests are killed. Following this, the wood packaging materials must be clearly labeled to show that this process has been taken place. The aim of this regulation is to prevent the introduction of exotic pests which can result in tree mortality and detrimental ecological impacts.

Effective November 1, 2017, those found in violation of the Code in regards to the treatment of Wood Packaging Materials may be issued a penalty. Prior to this date, there was a threshold of 5 violations.

Please find the full version of this notice below.

09/25/2017 11:02 AM EDT

Automated Broker Interface

Pursuant to U.S. Code of Federal Regulations 7 CFR § 319.40-3 (effective since September 16, 2005), non-exempt wood packaging material (WPM) imported into the United States must have been treated at approved facilities at places of origin to kill harmful timber pests that may be present. The WPM must display a visible, legible, and permanent mark certifying treatment, preferably in at least 2 sides of the article. The mark must be approved under the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) in its International Standards of Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM 15) Regulation of wood packaging material in international trade (https://www.ippc.int/en/publications/640/). Any WPM from foreign origin found to be lacking appropriate IPPC-compliant markings or found to be infested with a timber pest is considered not properly treated to kill timber pests and in violation of the regulation. The responsible party (importer, carrier, or bonded custodian) for the violative WPM must adhere to the Emergency Action Notification stipulations and be responsible for any costs or charges associated with disposition.

The purpose of the WPM requirement is to prevent the introduction of exotic timber pests. Introduced exotic pests lack the natural environmental controls that may be found in their respective native lands to keep them in check. When exotic timber pests go unchecked they can cause widespread tree mortality with detrimental ecological impacts. Additionally, there may be economic impact for the lumber, fruit, and nut industries, as well as the loss of horticultural trees. Eradication efforts can prove to be very expensive and ineffective once an exotic pest is introduced, as is the case with the Emerald Ash Borer which was introduced with infested WPM. Therefore, preventing introduction is critical with these exotic pests.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is responsible for enforcing the regulation at ports of entry. To motivate WPM compliance, effective November 1, 2017, responsible parties with a documented WPM violation may be issued a penalty under Title 19 United States Code (USC) § 1595a(b) or under 19 USC § 1592. This is a change from the previous published threshold of 5 violations. There will be no yearly reset for calculating repeat violations as each WPM violation may incur a penalty.

As trade industry members, you are encouraged to consider alternatives to WPM if possible, and to educate your supply chains about ISPM 15 requirements. Informational material on WPM is available from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Buckland is communicating this update with you to ensure that you are well aware of the latest information impacting trade. As a customer-focused company, we provide you with a single source of unmatched Customs Brokerage (Canadian, US, Mexican), Trade Managed Solutions, Freight Forwarding, Trade Technologies and Warehousing/Distribution Services. Please contact your Buckland representative if you have any questions regarding this information.