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Pest Quarantine of Imported Wood Packaging Material -Frequently Asked Questions-

1. International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 15 and applicable Japanese regulations

Q1:

What countries in the world are regulating wood packaging material (WPM) in accordance with ISPM No. 15?

A1:

Based on the information obtained by Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF), as of February of 2007, 34 countries and regions including US, China, EU have officially announced that they would lay down a regulation for imported WPM in accordance with the ISPM. Among above countries and regions, 31 countries and regions have already laid down and enforced the regulation and requested to exporting countries that WPM be properly treated and marked. Relevant policies and regulations may vary among these countries, therefore please obtain most update and precise details via these countries’ government website. (To find out more on those countries’ regulations, please refer to “Information of Wood Packaging Material for export” on our Plant Protection Station’s website.)


Q2:

Where can I find out more about ISPM No. 15?

A2:

To find out more on the ISPM, visit our Plant Protection Station’s website, or access International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) website at https://www.ippc.int/ (or search the keyword “IPPC”), which also provide access to other ISPM documents.


Q3:

Why Japan has decided to regulate imported WPMs in accordance with the ISPM?

A3:

It had been demonstrated that WPM used in international trade could be a pathway for the introduction and spread of pests, and worldwide concerns had been raising against the economically significant damage that the pests might cause to agricultural and forestal products. Therefore, in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Article XI of International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), ISPM No. 15: Guideline for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade has been adopted and globally harmonized measures have been taken in accordance with the ISPM thereafter.

As of Japan, to determine whether import regulation of WPM is required or not in accordance with the ISPM, a “pest risk analysis” had been conducted by plant protection stations of Japan. And the conclusion had been reached that imported WPM could be a pathway of the introduction and spread of pests (quarantine pests), which had never been reported in Japan, and economically unacceptable impact could be caused by the pests to domestic agricultural and forestry industry. Therefore Japan has decided to take a new phytosanitary measures on imported WPM.


Q4:

Is the newly adopted Japan’s regulation consistent with ISPM No. 15?

A4:

Yes. Japan’s regulation of WPM is consistent with ISPM No. 15.


2. Treatment and marking prior to export to Japan

Q1:

What kinds of treatment shall be applied to WPM prior to export to Japan?

A1:

One of the following treatments shall be applied to WPM in accordance with ISPM No. 15 prior to export to Japan.

① Heat Treatment (HT): Wood packaging material should be heated in accordance with a specific time-temperature schedule that achieves a minimum wood core temperature of 56℃ for a minimum of 30 minutes. Kiln-drying (KD), chemical pressure impregnation (CPI), or other treatments may be considered HT treatments to the extent that these meet the HT specifications. For example, CPI may meet the HT specification through the use of steam, hot water, or dry heat. (Annex 1 of ISPM No. 15)

② Methyl Bromide Fumigation (MB) (Annex 1 of ISPM No. 15)

Temperature

Dosage(g/m3)

Minimum concentration (g/m3)at:

2hrs.

4hrs.

12hrs.

24hrs.

21℃ or above

48

36

31

28

24

16℃ or above

56

42

36

32

28

10℃ or above

64

48

42

36

32

The minimum temperature should not be less than 10℃ and the minimum exposure time should be 24hours. Monitoring of concentrations should be carried out at a minimum of 2, 4 and 24hrs.

 


Q2:

Does fumigation cause any damage to products when they are fumigated together with WPM?

A2:

It is generally said that fumigation may cause some damage to photo material, wool, leather, plastic products, etc. The best ways to prevent possible damage may be to use pre-treated and certified WPM or non-regulated WPM for packaging.
(See section 3 on regulated and non-regulated WPM of this FAQ)


Q3:

What marks shall be applied to the treated WPM?

A3:

The following mark prescribed in Annex 2 of ISPM No. 15 shall be applied.

ISPM No.15マーク 


Q4:

Will markings using stamp, stencil, branding or seal be approved?

A4:

Markings using stamp, stencil, branding or seal will be approved provided that they are permanent, not transferable and legible. The use of red or orange color should be avoided since these colors are used in the labeling of dangerous goods, as prescribed in Annex 2 of ISPM No.15.


Q5:

Is there any requirements concerning size or shape of the mark?

A5:

It is prescribed in ISPM No. 15 that the mark should include minimum information of: ① IPPC symbol, ② ISO country code, ③ unique number assigned by the national plant protection organization to the producer of the WPM, ④ Abbreviation of applied measure. Although there is no prescribed size or shape of the mark, it shall be legible.


Q6:

What should Japanese importers request to exporters for marking?

A6:

Japanese importers may request to exporters that the mark be legible and easy to be recognized. ISPM No. 15 provides that the markings should be placed in a visible location, preferably on at least two opposite sides of the article.


Q7:

Does the validity of the mark expire?

A7:

The validity of the mark does not expire. Therefore, when WPM has been treated, and is not decomposed and remanufactured (i.e. it is in the original state), re-treatment in exporting country is not required. It is acceptable.

However, recycled, remanufactured or repaired wood packaging material should be re-certified and re-marked. All components of such material should have been treated. (Annex 2 of ISPM No. 15)


Q8:

Is inspection required for untreated WPM associated with consignments which pass through Japan?

A8:

If untreated WPM is associated with consignments which pass through Japan remaining enclosed and sealed, especially if the consignments are transported in sealed containers, the WPM may be recognized as “consignments in transit” and will not be required for inspection. Upon following proper registration, import inspection is not necessary.


Q9:

Do shipment documents such as invoice need to include WPM information?

A9:

If the proper mark has been applied to WPM, it is not required to include WPM information on the invoice or B/L etc. However, it is to the best benefits of exporters and importers to conducting adequate exchange of information or proper contracting behaviors to prevent possible monetary incongruity.


Q10:

What should we do when treatment of WPM cannot be implemented in an exporting country?

A10:

It may be possible to use WPM which has been properly treated and marked in other countries in accordance with ISPM No. 15.


Q11:

When WPM is used for animal consignment, when should the WPM be treated in an exporting country.

A11:

Wooden case or wooden frame may be used as WPM associated with animal consignment. Generally, components of such material are treated before assembly, and markings could be applied before and after assembly.

Obviously, all procedures including treatment and markings should be performed before actual accommodation. For details, please contact to authorities of the exporting country or exporters.


3. Regulated and non-regulated WPM

Q1:

What types of packaging material (PM) are regulated?

A1:

The types of regulated WPM are as follows:

① Regulated WPM based on ISPM No. 15 are pallets, dunnage, poling board, flashboard, sticker, crating, packing blocks, drum, cases, load board, pallet collar, skid and products made out of coniferous or broad-leaved wood. (Regardless of presence of bark)

② Packaging Material (PM) that have been regulated are : mat, straw matting, rope and other manufactured products of packaging material, other plant packaging materials (bark, chaff, straw, wheat straw and etc.), timber packaging materials (tropical timber, American timber, Russian timber; Madake (long - jointed bamboo), Moso bamboo and etc.). Same things not only applicable to packaging material of plant product cargo, but also of machine or other product cargoes.


Q2:

What types of PM are non-regulated?

A2:

The types of non-regulated WPM and PM that do not require application for import inspection are as follows:

① WPM that has been properly treated and marked in accordance with the prescribed procedures in ISPM No. 15.

② WPM that should not need to be regulated as provided in ISPM No.15: plywood, particle board, oriented strand board, veneer, veneer peeler cores, sawdust, wood wool, shavings, timbers no thicker than 6 millimeter and WPM made out of aforementioned materials

③ PM that have already been exempted from subject of import quarantine: Rattan and Cork

④ WPM used in the consignments frozen under -17.8 ℃ (0 °F)

⑤ Highly processed WPM by using the methods such as hot treatment, searing, polishing, carving

⑥ WPM that are part of a WPM kit or a half-finished WPM product (In the case of half-finished WPM product, it must be new and not recycled or reused.)

⑦ WPM, when the WPM and products are same kind of lumber without bark.


Japanese text is the original one which means in case of any discrepancy between the Japanese text and the English translation, the Japanese text shall govern and MAFF has no whatsoever legal responsibility that may arise from any reference to the content of this English text.