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Current exemption for wood packaging shipped between Canada, U.S. to end

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) are moving forward to remove the current exemption for wood packaging being shipped between the two countries, as outlined in the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 15. This action is necessary to prevent the introduction of new forest pests, as well as slow the spread of forest pests already established in North America.

This standard requires wood packaging to be heat-treated or fumigated with methyl bromide. Wood packaging moving between Canada and the continental United States has been exempted from this requirement because it was thought that existing pest-specific regulatory controls were providing sufficient protection.

With a number of invasive species being introduced into the two countries, the CFIA and the USDA-APHIS have jointly agreed to begin enforcing the international standard.

Canada and the United States are working together on implementation of the standard, including a phased-in approach based on consultation processes in each country.

After implementation, shipments with wood packaging material found to be non-compliant will not be permitted to enter the country of destination. If live pests are detected, the importer may also be required to treat the shipment to prevent pest escape, before having it returned to the country of origin.

Canada adopted ISPM No. 15 in 2004, to prevent invasive species from outside North America being introduced into Canada.

SOURCE: Canadian Food Inspection Agency

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