Memo to clients - WPM travelling between Canada and US

March 21, 2012

This message is to clarify rumours that the bilateral exemption has ended for wood packaging material that moves between Canada and the United States.

When ISPM-15 was introduced, the US and CA agreed to exempt WPM with a few constraints until a future date. USDA has confirmed to CWPCA that full implementation “is not expected before 2014” and will follow a 10- to 14-month period of informed compliance.

The CFIA has confirmed this position, indicating that (to be considered compliant) any wood packaging
material must be:

  1. free of living pests and signs of living pests, AND
  2. If there is no ISPM-15 mark, the WPM must have been produced in either CA or the US, and accompanying shipping documents must clearly indicate that the WPM was produced in either the US or CA or in both of countries; AND/OR
  3. WPM must be identified with an ISPM-15 mark (eg: re-used compliant pallets). Re-used repaired WPM should be marked in accordance with the Canadian Wood Packaging Certification Program (Policy Directive D-01-05).

The CFIA notice is posted at:

Despite the delayed timing for the termination of the bilateral exemption for heat treatment of WPM, we have received reports that US border officials are rejecting shipments at the border in BC for non-compliant WPM. Shipments with mixed loads (unmarked pallets or pallets with non-US / non-CA ISPM marks) are being refused and, until we obtain further clarification on this situation, you are encouraged to use only the same type of pallet in each shipment (ie: use only unmarked pallets of CA or US origin, or use stamped pallets from the same foreign origin).

If you are aware of these problems at border crossings, please let us know.

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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