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CBP Changes Its Policy Regarding Issuance of Penalties for WPM Violations

: US Customs

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – Wood Packaging material Violations – Issuance of Penalties 2017-09-27

Beginning November 1, 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will issue penalties for Wood Packaging Material (WPM) found to be in violation of the ISPM-15 standards and U.S. APHIS regulations, thereby eliminating its previous published threshold of allowing up to five violations before taking such action.

Moreover, there will no longer be an annual reset for calculating repeat violations; under the new rules each WPM violation may incur a penalty.

On September 25, 2017, CBP issued Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS) #17-000609 on the issuance of penalties regarding wood packing materials. The CSMS states, in relevant part:

  • 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 (  
  • 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.
  • [e]ffective 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.

Source: U.S. CBP


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