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Exports to the US – fines for untreated wooden packaging

Dangerous pests can get into the globalised goods trade through the use of wooden packaging. ISPM 15, the international standard for the treatment of such packaging formulated by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), stipulates how wooden packaging material (pallets, crates, dunnage, etc.) must be treated to keep it permanently protected from pest infestations. Standardised markings are used on the wood to indicate that it has been properly treated and these must be perfectly legible.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is responsible for ensuring that imports into the US comply with this standard. As of 1 November 2017, it will be issuing fines for wooden packaging that has not been marked properly or correctly. Another new development is that every infringement of this kind can result in a separate punishment. 

Exporters must therefore only use appropriately treated wooden packaging for their shipments. The provisions of the international standard must be strictly complied with in order to avoid any negative consequences.

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