Wood pallets must be treated for pests
Jun 2, 2005 9:28 AM, from staff and wire reports
Effective Sept 16, 2005, all United States shippers are required to treat all wood packaging materials—including pallets, crates, and boxes—for pests before they can enter or exit the country.
This rule is the result of a standard approved at the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) in 2002 and handed down the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). It will require wood packaging materials to be heat-treated—bringing the core temperature of the wood to 132.8 degrees F (56 degrees C) for at least 30 minutes—or fumigated with methyl bromide. Pallets that comply must be labeled with an approved international mark that certifies treatment; pallets without the label can be rejected at US borders.
The IPPC rule is aimed at nine known pests, including the European spruce bark beetle, the emerald ash borer, the Asian long-horned beetle, the pine wood nematode, and the sirex woodwasp. These insects have done considerable damage to trees worldwide.
Cost of compliance likely will add about $1 to $2 to the price of a pallet. That could amount to a 12% to 25% price increase, says the National Wood Pallet & Container Association. Recycled pallets that are remanufactured must be re-treated and given new labels.
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