Mixed Signals on Implementation of IPPC Stamping Requirement for Canadian Shipments.

usa_canada_flagThe much anticipated announcement regarding removal of the current exemption between the U.S. and Canada for wood packaging to be in compliance and stamped with the IPPC mark continues to remain a mystery.  Neither USDA APHIS or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (the Canadian agency in charge of their program) have released much information since the first round of communication over a year ago.  Here’s what we know as of today:

From the U.S.:

The USDA APHIS website maintains its official statement, “Commodities destined to Canada from the United States are exempt from the requirement for treatment and official marking. The exporter MUST WRITE ON EXPORT PAPERWORK: “Wood Packing Material of Continental U.S. Origin”. The Proposed rule change to lift the exemption status for Canada was published in the Federal Register on December 2, 2010, with consideration given by USDA to all comments that were received on or before January 31, 2011.  The thought at that time was a joint US-Canada implementation sometime in 2012, with actual enforcement set afterwards.  As of today however, there has been no communication from USDA regarding dates set.

From Canada:

A December 1, 2011 communication from CFIA to all Canadian exporters stated that they had received information that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency was strictly enforcing certain requirements for the entry of wood packaging.  This included, wood packaging must be free of living pests and signs of living pests, and when no IPPC mark is present the documents must clearly indicate that the wood packaging was produced in the U.S. and/or Canada, or the wood packaging must be identified with an official IPPC mark.  A February memo stated that a removal of the U.S.-Canada exemption will not occur before January 2014, with a phase-in period expected prior to full implementation.

NELMA will alert its wood packaging program subscribers as soon as a date is set for removal of the current exemption.