Notice to exporters – Compliance with ISPM 15 in exported WPM

Attention Exporters: Requirements for Wood Packaging Material (WPM) in Outbound Shipments from Canada

This serves as an important reminder for all exporters regarding the strict treatment requirements for WPM that accompanies goods exported from Canada to a participating foreign trading partner, including wood dunnage used to support goods in ship holds. A participating foreign trading partner is one that requires imported WPM to comply with the international standard for phytosanitary measures 15: Regulation of wood packaging material in international trade (ISPM 15). ISPM 15 outlines the essential guidelines and phytosanitary measures in preventing the introduction of quarantine pests associated with untreated wood-based packaging material, including pallets, crates, boxes, etc.

Over 80 countries require imported WPM to comply with ISPM 15. The Canadian Heat Treated Wood Products Certification Program (HT program) administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is based on the ISPM 15 requirements and provides a basis for meeting import requirements of participating foreign trading partners. For example, to comply with ISPM 15 and importing countries’ plant health regulations, WPM accompanying goods exported from Canada must be debarked and must undergo heat treatment to a minimum temperature of 56°C for a minimum duration of 30 continuous minutes throughout the entire wood profile, including its core. The WPM must also be stamped by a facility registered under the CFIA’s HT program.

Ensuring that WPM complies with ISPM 15 requirements is necessary to preserve confidence in Canada’s phytosanitary certification. Using WPM for exports obtained from facilities registered under the CFIA’s HT program is in fact a requirement for exports to participating foreign trading partners, as is adhering to all other plant health import requirements of trading partners. Exemptions may apply for exports destined for the continental USA.

Non-compliance with ISPM 15 and/or Canada’s Plant Protection Regulations can lead to severe repercussions, including:

  • refusal of shipment receipt at the port in the destination country;
  • shipment being returned to Canada;
  • shipment being destroyed at the discretion of the receiving country;
  • financial penalties at destination; and
  • administrative financial penalties or prosecution by the CFIA.

Please contact your local CFIA office for more information.