Reminder about imported cargo shipped in wooden crates

woodencrateIf you are importing cargo contained in regulated wood packaging materials (or importing the wood itself as cargo), you are reminded that the wood packaging must be heat treated in accordance with ISPM standards, and 

“…must be marked in a visible location on each article, preferably on at least two opposite sides of the article, with a legible and permanent mark that indicates that the article meets the [heat treatment standards].”  7 CFR §319.40-3(b)(2) (emphasis added).

At some ports, US Customs officials have been broadly interpreting this regulatory minimum to require the ISPM mark on all sides of the crate, presumably so that the inspecting CBP officers do not have to move heavy crates in order to find the required markings.  If the inspecting officer cannot safely view the heat treatment mark (depending on the particular orientation of the crate at the point of unloading), the importer runs the risk of having to re-crate the cargo at the port using suitable materials (and destroying the original wood), or possibly returning the shipment to its origin.

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