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Canadian Government Enacts Quarantine Restrictions
The Canadian government has established rules restricting the transport of unprocessed wood
Date Posted: 3/1/2012
Attempting to stop the spread of the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB), the Canadian government has established rules restricting the transport of unprocessed wood, bark, bark chips, firewood, lumber, dried branches and logs from quarantine areas of Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, parts of Toronto, and the Canadian city of Vaughan. The new rules took effect February 1, 2012 and apply to hardwood species known to possibly harbor ALB. The restrictions cover maple, White Silk, birch, hackberry, sycamore, poplar, willow, Mountain Ash, elm and all species of firewood.
Quarantine areas involving the ALB have been designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and local/state agencies. The Canadian government is basing its new rule on these quarantine areas not the entire states where the quarantine areas reside.
It appears that pallets are exempt although pallet lumber is not. A key industry source in Canada has indicated that pallets are not covered by the restrictions although the Profile has not been able to get official confirmation about this from the Canadian government, and the current regulation does not specify how solid wood packaging (including pallets or dunnage) will be impacted by this new rule.
Called D-11-05, the ALB rule allows some regulated material to be imported or moved from quarantine areas if properly treated. Approved treatment methods include chipping and/or tub grinding to create chips to a dimension of one and a half (1.5) cm or less in size, and heat treatment to a core temperature of 56 degrees C throughout the profile of the wood for a minimum of 30 minutes. If treated according to one of the above methods, wood/bark chips and lumber are allowed to be imported or moved from a quarantine area.
The following are not allowed to be imported or moved at all from quarantine areas: dried branches, logs or firewood. Paperwork, such as an import permit or phytosanitary certificate, is required for firewood from any state, including non-quarantine areas of the United States. For a complete list of how to handle this new rule visit http://www.inspection.gc.ca/plants/plant-protection/directives/forestry/d-11-05/eng/1326390329570/1326390421438
Processed wood material, such as plywood, pellets, veneer, etc., are exempt from the rule. If intercepted at the border, non-compliant regulated material may be incinerated, refused entry, returned to the origin, or otherwise disposed of at the importer’s expense. The implementation of this ALB rule took effect immediately with no phase-in period.
In related news, the proposed elimination of the ISPM-15 exemption for cross-border transit of solid wood packaging material between the United States and Canada has been delayed yet again. Sources in both the United States and Canada suggest that full implementation of the standard is not expected before 2014. No official date in 2014 has been selected.
The harmonization of the standard to require full treatment and compliance with ISPM-15 was previously agreed to by the Canadian and the U.S. governments in 2013. Although the Canadians seem ready to go, it has been delayed due to legislative hurdles in the United States.
Currently, cross-border shipments of wood packaging material between the United States and Canada are exempt from the ISPM-15 rules. When the pest treatment rules were set in place years ago, authorities believed the contiguous border and similar regulatory approach meant that there was no reason to police cross border shipments. But increased pest risk has changed how some authorities view the situation.
Some business interests in the United States have raised objections to ending the exemption. They point to the costs involved as well as the lack of scientific evidence for it. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) filed an objection to the proposed rule change last year suggesting it would cost U.S. companies $100 million annually to comply.
Once implemented, all wood packaging material moving between Canada and the United States would need to be marked and treated in accordance with ISPM-15.