Pallet Profile Weekly - July 4, 2003
Pallet Profile Weekly is published by Industrial Reporting to provide pallet industry trends and news, a market report, and regional lumber price trends.
By Staff Writer
Date Posted: 5/1/2004
What's Coming on Board?
IPPC Formally Unveils Treatment Mark
Forget the no-bug logo; there's a new mark in town. after a long wait, the finalizatin of an international standard for solid wood packaging recently took a big step forward. The Internaltional Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) has formally published the treatment mark for its solid wood packaging program.
he mark (see figure 1) is now available for countries to use in their plant protection programs. This move clears the way for the implementation of the IPPC phytosanitary standard. The United States, Mexico and Canada plan to implement the IPPC standard in January of 2004. Europe and some other industrialized areas are expected to follow the lead of North America and implement the standard next year. However, Europe has not announced an official timetable yet.
The IPPC decided to abandon the no-bug logo it intended to use after a trademark dispute arose with a machinery manufacturer in the United States. Once the IPPC learned that a U.S. company already ownned the rithts to the logo in the United States, the international organization opted for a new logo; one without any legal hurdles. This might have contributed to a slight delay in some implementation schedules. But for the most part, most countries have been progressing slowly anyway becuase of the bureaucratic maze required to enact international standards.
The mark will be made available through the plant protection organizations and teh approved certification agencies in each country. The enforcement/inspection of the standard in the United States now falls under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) given the recent government realignment, U.S. Customs officers will inspect shipments as always, but , in addition to the normal inspection, they will be looking for the IPPC treatment mark starting in January 2004. According to a government spokesperson, "If the mark is not present, it will be noted and the notice will be sent to the exporting country's national plant protection organization. If pests are found, appropriate action will be taken on the pest. There is no specific time frame for tightening up the enforcement of the measures."
Thus, exports into the U.S. should be compliant by January 2004. If packaging is not compliant, the shipper is playing a game of Russian roulette depending on when the government decides to tighten enforcement procedures. This gives the government the freedom to be both lenient and tough when it wants to be.
Solid wood packaging became a target for environmental groups at a hearing held in late June according to the National ooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA). The NWPCA appeared a the hearing on behalf of the industry and defended wood packaging. Typical eco-rhetoric, representatives from the Defenders of Woldlife and American Lands encouraged regulators to phase out the use of solid wood packaging. Although these groups are generally considered "kooks" according to one Washington insider, it never hurts for the industry to defend itself.Page 1 Page 2
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