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Governments Seek to End ISPM-15 Exemption; EAB Discoveries Mount
ISPM-15 Update: Canada and the U.S. are moving to require treatment of pallets and containers moving between the two countries to prevent the spread of wood-eating insects.
Date Posted: 9/1/2008
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) are considering enforcing a standard for wood packaging to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species, such as the emerald ash borer.
On July 24, the Canadian government started a 90-day comment period for interested parties to share their concerns about a cross-border ISPM-15 requirement. Anyone can share their thoughts by visiting: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/plaveg/for/cwpc/consulte.shtml
To allow sufficient time to adjust, the CFIA and APHIS are developing a strategy that involves a gradual multi-year phase-in period. Complete implementation of the ISPM No. 15 is expected by 2011.
Before the import requirement is enforced, the CFIA will address concerns raised during consultations with affected stakeholders. Industry, exporters, importers, brokers, wood packaging manufacturers and interest groups are encouraged to provide comments.
Wood packaging moving between
Requiring ISPM-15 treatment of all wood packaging material within the
Government authorities have yet to offer any real timetable for a domestic ISPM-15 requirement.
Bruce Scholnick, president of the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA), said that nothing is likely to happen now until after the upcoming presidential election. Of course, there is a chance that a new administration may not take up the issue. But Bruce said he believes there is enough support within the appropriate agencies by the bureaucrats that it could survive no matter who gets elected.
Some people within local governments and the wood industry oppose efforts to institute domestic treatment requirements for solid wood packaging. There are a number of concerns including the cost, the effectiveness of any mandated standard and the ability to inspect thousands of locations. APHIS does not have enough inspectors to handle the burden caused by a domestic treatment requirement. Inspections would likely fall to local authorities or even independent organizations. This could lead authorities to utilize third party services as is currently done for the export certification program. Bruce said another option would be for state transportation departments to look for inspection marks when trucks are stopped at weigh scales.
The NWPCA continues to lead the effort for domestic requirements. Bruce pointed to the success of the international treatment program to show that it can work.
Bruce said, “If given a defined set of rules, the pallet industry will comply.” He is concerned about attempts by state and local agencies to interpret proposed standards in different ways.
Another major concern for the NWPCA is the negative exposure that wooden pallets has received because of the spread of pests, such as the emerald ash borer (EAB), when firewood may be the primary culprit.
This summer government officials have discovered EAB infestations in
Also, Canadian officials recently found the EAB in
Ash trees make up approximately 3% of forests and 14% of urban trees in
The EAB was discovered in
“The discovery of this highly destructive pest at a campground is a strong indication that it probably arrived in firewood,” said Missouri Conservation Department Forest Entomologist Rob Lawrence.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) recently issued a quarantine on movement of any ash product such as trees or lumber and all hardwood firewood for numerous localities in
According to the VDACS, this is the second finding of EAB in
The most recent EAB discovery in the country took place in the
“We expected to find EAB in
Officials announcing the find emphasized that the first steps in responding to the infestation will be to quarantine movement of hardwood firewood, ash nursery stock, timber or any other article that could spread EAB out of the infested area.