Certification FAQ

Click here to read the HT Program Questions & Answers document, released in February 2017 by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  


What Qualifies As Wood Packaging Material?

Wood packaging material includes pallets, dunnage, boxes, crating, packaging blocks, drums, cases, load boards, pallet collars, and skids.


Who Should Become Certified?

  • Wood packaging manufacturing facilities;
  • Wood packaging facilities treating lumber for the manufacturing of wood packaging material or heat treating the actual wood packaging material (i.e., crates, pallets, boxes, etc.).

A basic guideline to determine whether a facility should be certified is: “does the facility do any transformation to wood that ends up as wood packaging material?”


Why Is Certification Important?

The main purpose of the HT Program is to prevent the spread of regulated pests (e.g. the Emerald Ash Borer, the Asian Longhorn Beetle) in wood packaging material.

To do this, every step of the production process needs to be certified: heat treating the wood, cutting it down to size, and assembling the wood to make a pallet, crate, or dunnage.

This also applies to repairing existing wood packaging material.


What Are The Consequences Of Making Export Packaging Without Being Certified?

Shipments can be refused entry at foreign ports and destroyed, returned, and/or quarantined and fumigated at the exporter’s cost. Violations, such as shipping wood packaging with counterfeit stamps, can result in fines under the Agricultural Monetary Penalties Act.


Whose Responsibility Is It If Pests Are Found?

Every step needs to be certified to ensure that the process is "clean" and the wood packaging will not be compromised, and to limit legal liability. If pests are found in wood packaging material, the liability belongs to the certified facility that stamped it.

For example, if a certified facility stamps a pallet and their customer later repairs this pallet with non-treated infested wood, the liability is with the facility whose number is on that pallet. Therefore, it is in the interest of the industry to make sure that everyone who should be certified is. 


Who Is Eligible?

Eligible applicants include those Canadian facilities handling wood products intended for the treatment or manufacturing of wood packaging material.

More specifically, an applicant must be:

  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • A person authorized under the laws of Canada to reside in Canada for a period of 6 months or more and who will have possession, care or control of the thing to be treated or manufactured, distributed or;
  • In the case of a corporation with a place of business in Canada, the applicant must be an agent or officer of the corporation who resides in Canada, and;
  • The facility to be registered must be in Canada.

Registered facilities include:

  • Manufacturers of pallets, containers, crates, etc. for use by others;
  • Specialty crating services;
  • Moving companies and freight forwarders;
  • Manufacturers who crate their own product for export;
  • Repair and recycle facilities;
  • Kiln operators;
  • Service companies which ship components to support field operations;
  • Military bases;
  • Community workshops;
  • Greenhouses/nurseries.

How Do I Become Certified?

To become certified, contact CWPCA for an application package. Send a request by email to info@woodpackaging.ca or fax to 866-375-1835 and provide:

  • Your company name;
  • Your facility’s location (city and province);
  • A contact name and contact information. 

Once you have received and read through the application package, you will need to send in the following items:

  • Fees;
  • Signed forms;
  • A Quality Manual.

Request HT Program Application Package


How Much Will It Cost to Be Certified?

There are 2 sets of fees for the HT Program:

  • Assessment fee: $800 (+Tax) and Inspection fee: $3 400 (+Tax) to the CWPCA for 1 year (6 inspections)
  • Annual registration fee: $459.56 to the CWPCA (collected on behalf of the CFIA)

Fees are subject to change without notice and are non-refundable.


What Forms Do I Need to Fill?

  • Form 1: Application for Registration;
  • Form 2: Inspection Service Agreement;
  • Form 3: Information Collection Acknowledgement Form,
  • Form 4: Contact and Payment Information form.

What Is The Quality Manual? How Do I Write One?

If you think of the policy documents as the "rules of the game", the Quality Manual is your way of explaining how you will follow the rules.

To assist in writing your Quality Manual, we suggest you review the following documents:

  • D-13-01: A CFIA policy document used to train your employees
  • CWPCA Guide to Writing your Quality Manual

Do You Have A Quality Manual Template?

Once all onboarding fees have been paid, your inspector will provide you with a copy of our Quality Manual Template.

Please note that we will be inspecting you against your quality manual. Therefore, your procedures must be as described in the manual. If they’re not, you will need to either change the manual to reflect your procedures or vice versa.

One thing noticed with people using a template (or hiring a consultant to write their Manual for them) is that they tend not to know the content of their Manual when we do the evaluation audit. Make sure you -or whoever will be in charge- know the rules and the procedures laid out in your Manual, otherwise it could delay your approval.

Your inspector will provide you a copy of our Quality Manual Template once all fees have been paid.


How Long Will The Certification Process Take?

At this time, the application process takes 4 to 12 weeks.


What Are The Steps To Become Certified?

PO Box 280 ,Carleton Place, ON, K7C 3P4
T. 613.521.6468 or 1.877.224.3555 F. 866.375.1835
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