TT Talk - Government enforces rules on wooden packaging material...

We remind readers that the US Department of Agriculture's Wood Packaging Material (WPM) regulations for pallets and crates came into effect on 1 February 2006 and that they will be enforced by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspectors from that date.

The regulations require that various wooden materials, including pallets and crates, to carry a "legible and permanent" mark that states that the wood has been treated either with heat or methyl bromide to kill any insects that may be present.

The enforcement applies to wooden pallets and crates only. Other wooden items will still be under the "informed compliance" phase of the regulations under which inspectors will note violations and provide information on how to comply with the rules, but will not stop imports or require them to be re-exported.

However, pallets and crates that are not appropriately marked will be subject to expensive procedures required by the regulations, including possible re-export. Members should therefore ensure that all pallets and cases for shipments they handle to destinations in the US (or which transit US territory) meet the requirements and are properly marked.