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October 04, 2017
Increased Enforcement and Penalties for U.S. Imports of Wood Packing Material

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced a change of policy regarding penalties for imports with Wood Packing Material (WPM) violations. Per CSMS#17-000612, CBP will no longer routinely issue penalties only after five WPM violations within a year. Now a penalty may be issued for each violation.

CBP warns that violations may subject the responsible party to a penalty equal to the value of the goods or subject the shipment to seizure. The penalty claim may be issued against the importer, the carrier or another bonded custodian, depending on the circumstances.

When imported into the U.S., WPM must comply with all of the following requirements:

  • The WPM must have been treated at an approved facility at origin (using heat treatment or fumigation)
  • The WPM must properly display the ISPM 15 (International Standards of Phytosanitary Measures) mark, which certifies the WPM’s compliance. A compliant ISPM 15 mark is:

o   A specially formatted mark, which must include all of the following information:

  • The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) symbol
  • The country code representing the country in which the WPM is produced
  • The code for the WPM producer
  • The code for the type of treatment

o   Permanent

o   Visible and legible and preferably shown on two or more sides

  • The WPM must not be infested

CBP warns that introduction of exotic timber pests may cause widespread and grave ecological and economic damage. WPM includes (but is not limited to) the following: pallets, crates, dunnage, boxes and spools. WPM made of processed or thin (6mm or less) wood, wine/spirit barrels that have been heated; and sawdust/wood shavings are exempted from the above requirements.

The WPM regulations are promulgated by the Department of Agriculture under the regulations in 7 CFR § 319.40-43, and enforced by CBP.

The changes outlined above apply to U.S. imports only. Most national governments enforce their own WPM rules.

For more information, please contact your local FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage office. For a complete list of office locations, go to http://www.ftn.fedex.com/us/locations.

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