20 February 2014
Importers into New Zealand need to aware of requirements and limitations regards wooden packaging. It is not unusual for shippers to load goods on to wooden pallets, skids, crates, or to use wooded dunnage as packing.
Unfortunately wood, particularly when untreated, can provide an ideal breeding ground and mode of transport for bugs, insects, plants and diseases, and as a consequence, poses a significant risk at the New Zealand border.
In order to get a standard that was accepted and recognised internationally for wood packaging the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) developed:
International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures - Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging in International Trade (ISPM15).
To meet the requirements of ISPM15 all wood packaging material must undergo either heat treatment or fumigation with methyl bromide. To verify that treatment has occurred and to provide traceability to the country of origin an internationally recognised certification mark are applied to the treated wood packaging.
Treatment providers who meet the requirements of ISPM15 are authorised by MAF Biosecurity New Zealand to apply the internationally recognised mark to wood packaging material produced for use in the export trade.
So, if you are an importer, specify that all packaging must meet ISPM15 standards, and if you are an exporter, save yourself the drama and expense by only using ISPM15 approved materials.