Increase in Non-Compliance with respect to Wood Packaging Material            


You are aware that Wood Packaging Material (WPM) used for packing the export goods, need to be treated and stamped as per International guidelines brought out as ISPM-15 (International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15) by IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention). This WPM harbours lot of pests and some of them are of quarantine importance to different countries.

Hence IPPC has published ISPM-15 specifying the treatment of WPM which has been agreed to globally in the international trade. Department of Agriculture, Cooperation Farmer’s welfare under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India has been declared NPPO (National Plant Protection Organization) who has been made responsible to implement this ISPM-15 regulation in our country. NPPO can accredit the treatment providers and allot unique code number and ISPM-15 mark to each of these Treatment Providers in the model as specified in this standard.

NPPO-India has started implementing the same since 2005 and issued various circulars for its Compliance. In the year 2010, DGFT has also issued a notification for its compliance. Of late, Ministry of Agriculture of each country has authorized their custom officers at the ports to be more vigilant for the complete stamp marking on the WPM. It has been observed that due to recurring non-compliance for the shipments from India, some of the countries have even adopted the measure to re-export the whole consignment. Recently Canada has ordered for re-export.

Presently, in practice, the stuffed containers are fumigated and the WPM stamped irrespective of the quality of wood, its infestation level and moisture content. Sometimes, the dunnage or wood used for lacing remains un-stamped. It is pertinent to mention that fumigation with methyl bromide gas is mere curative and not preventive. The wood could be prone to infestation anytime after de-gassing. Secondly this gas is for killing the insects present and not for the moulds or fungus.

Now we have observed that the importing countries are adopting stringent measures and becoming more vigilant for powder formation in WPM.  Hence, it is imperative that the following preventive measures may be adopted to avoid any kind of noncompliance issue at destinations:-

1)         The wooden packing materials should be got separately fumigated prior to packing.

The wooden planks require spacers at a minimum of 5 mm thickness and each wood should be less than 200 mm in one dimension for proper circulation of methyl bromide gas around and throughout the timber commodity. Secondly, fumigation in the containers with heavy machinery materials in HDPE pack may obstruct uniform distribution & penetration of fumigant gas vis-à-vis they absorb good quantum of gas thereby resulting in improper fumigation.

2)      The wooden pallets/boxes could be visually inspected prior to fumigation for bark layers and the moisture content which should be below 12% so as to prevent subsequent mould formation and cross-infestation to thrive till it reaches the destination.

 3)     The un-used pallets stocks has to fumigated at regular interval of 21 days and should be stored in sheltered & clean place. 

 4)     Fumigated WPM must be kept safely at client premises / fumigation site, in a sheltered area and avoid replacing/repairing of any damaged pallets with un-treated pallets/wooden pieces. No un-treated and non-stamped wood as dunnage or for lacing should be used. 

5)      The use of jungle wood WPM / pallets should be avoided as it may create many issues in transit such as development of fungus & absorption of high moisture which results in decaying of wood vis-à-vis insect infestation. ‘Pine’  or ‘safeda’ wood pallets properly smoothened are much better than the jungle wood.

6)      The smooth surface of WPM/Pallets should be provided for fumigation.

7)      The ISPM-15 stamps should be Visible and complete in all respects. Although the requirement is one stamp on each side of WPM, but there is no restriction on more number of stamps.

Hence instruct your WPM vendor to supply good and dry wood material as per the above guidelines so that there is no mould development or insect infestation like borers, termites, etc.