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USA – Update on Wood Packaging Materials

: US Customs

Update on Requirements Concerning Wood Packaging Materials for Imports into the U.S. 2017-11-28

In September 2017, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (“CBP”) issued CSMS messages 17-000609 and 17-000612, announcing that effective November 1, 2017, CBP would  penalize any documented violation of the wood packaging material (“WPM”) requirements.
 
Milgram reported this CBP policy change in a news article dated September 27.
 
Since this announcement, Milgram has received numerous inquiries on this issue. To help customers who export to the U.S., we recommend that you review the following web pages and the information at the various links therein, as published by CBP and the USDA: 
One of the most frequent questions we received, concerns WPM requirements for shipments going from Canada to the U.S.
 
Since 2005, WPM made entirely of Canadian origin wood (or U.S. origin wood) and shipped directly to the U.S. from Canada has been exempt from the treatment and marking requirements as outlined in ISPM-15.
 
Per our review of the FAQs for WPM still published by CBP, the exemptions for Canada still appear to be in place – However, for how long we cannot say.
 
Understanding the current U.S. exemptions on WPM from Canada:
 
According to the exemption, CBP has historically determined that the country of origin of the commodity is the country of origin of the WPM on all shipments coming from Canada, absent an indication to the contrary.
 
In other words, WPM in shipments of Canadian-made goods coming from Canada are considered Canadian and the WPM need not be marked. However, WPM in shipments of Chinese-made goods coming from Canada will be considered Chinese WPM and must be treated and marked, unless there is documentation to prove the WPM is of Canadian or US origin.
 
In that regard, the following statement on the import documentation is considered to be acceptable by U.S. CBP: “All WPM associated with this shipment was harvested in Canada and made into WPM in Canada.” Note: If the WPM is of U.S. origin, or both Canadian and U.S. origin, the statement should be adjusted accordingly.
 
On the other hand, if the WPM (in a shipment of Chinese-origin goods, shipped from Canada) is treated according to the ISPM-15 standards, and the WPM is properly marked with an approved ISPM-15 mark, then the aforementioned exemption statement on the documentation is not required.
 
IMPORTANT:
Even with the above-noted “actions,” the USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection & Quarantine (PPQ) inspectors always reserve the right to inspect the WPM on inbound shipments. If pests or contaminants are found, the shipments can still be detained or refused entry into the U.S.
 
Milgram will continue to monitor changes to WPM requirements, and we will post updates, as appropriate.
 

Source: CBP & USDA

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