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November 22, 2017
Reminder: Imported wood packaging materials have to meet strict requirements
Since July 2006 Canada requires that imported wood packaging(1) be either heat-treated or fumigated with methyl bromide(2) and marked with an internationally recognized International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) mark, similar to the facsimile pictured on this page. (In lieu of this mark the consignment may be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate(3) specifying the treatment used)
Canada's import requirements cover solid wood (excluding manufactured wood and paper products) used in packaging, supporting, protecting, bracing or carrying a commodity. Wood packaging products include dunnage, crating, wood boxes, load boards, pallets, wooden wire drums and skids.
When the IPPC mark is used, all pallets, dunnage, etc., have to bear the mark. If a piece of a marked dunnage plank is sawed off because a smaller piece is needed somewhere, that smaller piece must also bear the mark or the whole shipment could be declared non-compliant.
Shipments found to contain wood packaging that do not meet import requirements are usually ordered removed from Canada at the expense and responsibility of the importer or person in care and control of the regulated articles.
The CBSA may allow the deconsolidation of non-compliant wood packaging materials from compliant wood packaging materials in consolidated shipments, or the separation of non-compliant wood packaging materials from associated cargo/goods and replaced with compliant wood packaging materials.
However, these options should not be counted on as they are subject to the port's discretion, are usually limited to the 4 main marine ports (Halifax, Montreal, Vancouver, and Prince Rupert) and the guidelines are extremely restrictive in order to avoid entry of any invasive insects in Canada.
Rules and regulations governing the Import Policy and Export Program for wood packaging are available on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's website.
Do not hesitate to contact our offices, should you require additional information.
(1) Wood packaging materials manufactured from wood of Canadian or continental-U.S. origin that have not moved internationally are presently exempt from the treatment and marking requirements of Canadian and U.S. wood packaging import regulations when moving between the continental U.S. and Canada.
(2) The "fumigation" applies specifically to the treatment of the wood packaging for its certification, and not to the fumigation of the whole container before departure.
(3) Under a bilateral arrangement, a Phytosanitary Certificate is not accepted for the entry of wood packaging material originating from the People's Republic of China.
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