The bilateral agreement between the US and Canada which allows for non-compliant ISPM-15 wood packaging to flow back and forth between the two countries is expected to end in April 2012. This will result in full enforcement at the US border in early 2013 for ISPM-15 compliant wood packaging, including dunnage and lath on lumber shipments.
As a member of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), Canada has adopted International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 15 regulations. Wood packaging materials such as pallets, crates and dunnage are regulated materials under ISPM 15 rules and must meet specific certification requirements to be shipped internationally.
All non-manufactured wood packaging materials (WPM) for export must be treated, either by heat or fumigation. Manufactured wood products such as plywood, oriented strand board (OSB) and particleboard do not need to be treated. Sawdust, wood wool, shavings and raw wood 6mm or less in thickness (most lath used in lumber packaging is under 6mm in thickness) is also exempt.
Heat-treating wood is a pasteurizing process regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that represents the IPPC in Canada. The Forestry section of the CFIA licenses wood packaging suppliers. Lumber grading agencies may be authorized to represent the CFIA across Canada and conduct monthly inspections to ensure that wood is heated to 56 degrees Celsius for at least 30 minutes (either before or after manufacture) to meet heat-treating requirements. This process is widely recognized as an effective means to destroy any pests that could be harmful to forests. Wood can also be fumigated, but heattreating is considered an environmentally preferable alternative.