Wood Packaging Materials – Phase III


SCBPA John Deveraux

(713) 454-8050

SUBJECT: Wood Packaging Materials – Phase III

Operating Procedures for the Trade Community Regarding Implementation of the

Wood Packaging Materials (WPM) Regulation


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has revised its import regulation for wood packaging materials (WPM), 7 CFR § 319. The final rule was posted in the Federal Register September 16, 2004, with an effective date of September 16, 2005.

CBP conducted a special operation during the month of July 2005 to determine the baseline level of WPM compliance. Based on examination results, CBP decided to perform phased-in compliance enforcement of the USDA WPM regulation. Phase II of the "informed compliance" phase, which focused on non-compliant crates and pallets, will end on July 4, 2006. Phase III of the WPM Implementation Plan will begin on July 5, 2006. Details of Phase III can be found below. Additional information regarding CBP’s WPM Implementation Plan can be found on the CBP website, at


Phase III: All Wood Packing Material (July 5, 2006 and beyond):

      Phase III represents full enforcement of the WPM regulations and will begin to impact ALL cargo shipments that have non-compliant WPM, including crates and pallets.

      During Phase III, if CBP discovers any WPM that is not properly marked (that is, lacking the proper IPPC logo) during the course of any visual examination of any cargo, the shipment will be considered in violation of the WPM rule.

      All other operational elements of Phase II remain in effect.

      IMPORTANT NOTE: CBP and USDA’s position on marked WPM found to be infested with actionable wood boring pests is as follows:  If an actionable wood boring pest is found living in marked wood packaging materials, the wood packaging materials are to be considered to be in violation of the WPM regulation and must be exported.

      Treatment, in these cases, will be conducted only as a safeguarding measure if such treatment is required to minimize pest dispersal. Whether or not treatment is applied, if an actionable wood boring pest is found living in marked WPM, the WPM are to be considered violative and must be exported.

      In accord with USDA’s interpretation of their WPM regulation, effective with the implementation of Phase III on July 5, 2006, CBP will require the export of any marked or unmarked  WPM determined to be infested or found within any live wood boring pest of the families Cerambycidae, Buprestidae, Siricidae, Cossidae, Curculionidae, Scolytidae, Platypodidae, or Sesiidae .

    Shipments Containing Non-Compliant Wood Will Be Exported

        The shipment will be held and will not be released. IT and T&E shipments found to contain violative WPM will not be permitted to transit.

        The Agriculture Specialist will complete a USDA Emergency Action (EAN) Notification (PPQ-523) on the violative materials. The Agriculture Specialist will follow the general guidelines for completing actions under the EAN procedures.

        The importer, or the importer’s representative (if one is available), will be notified by CBP of the situation.

        The importer or other party of interest may request separation of the imported merchandise from the violative WPM.


      If the Port Director determines that separation of the non-compliant crates from the cargo is not feasible, or if separation is not requested, then the entire shipment (violative WPM, compliant WPM, and merchandise) shall be ordered exported from the U.S. in accordance with the rule.

        The Port Director shall order the shipment to be exported from the U.S. at the importers’ or party of interest’s expense. It is irrelevant if the shipment contains a mixture of compliant and violative WPM.

        The authority to order exportation of violative WPM is contained in the USDA regulations at 7 CFR § 319.40.

        If the entire shipment is ordered exported, any original entry must be cancelled and an Immediate Exportation entry (entry type 63) must be executed and provided to the Port Director to document the export movement.

        If movement outside of the original U.S. port becomes necessary to cause the ordered exportation, it will be on a restrictive Transportation and Exportation entry (entry type 62) in conjunction with an appropriately executed USDA Emergency Action Notification (EAN) (PPQ-523). The EAN will provide and document restrictions as to routing, diversion and authorized timeframe to complete the restricted transportation and exportation movement.

        In the event that the identity of the importer is unknown or otherwise not available to CBP, the importing carrier may be held liable for expenses related to the costs of exportation of the non-compliant WPM and associated cargo.

        In the event that the merchandise is abandoned, the shipment will go to General Order (G.O.) and be handled under established procedures. If G.O. merchandise is ultimately auctioned, all noncompliant WPM must be exported at the expense of the successful bidder.

      If the Port Director determines that separation of the violative WPM from the cargo is feasible, then the cargo will be separated at the importer’s expense at a time and place determined by the Port Director.

        After separation, the Port Director will order violative WPM to be exported per 7 CFR § 319.40 at the importers’ or party of interest’s expense.

        If only the violative WPM is to be exported, the importer or party of interest (working in conjunction with the exporting carrier) must supply evidence sufficient to Port Director’s satisfaction that the non-compliant WPM will be removed from the U.S. This proof may include, but is not limited to, an IE or T&E, a bill of lading, statement on carrier letterhead, U.S. export or foreign entry documents, etc.

        In the event that the identity of the importer is unknown or otherwise not available to CBP, the importing carrier may be held liable for expenses related to the costs of exportation of the non-compliant WPM.

Requesting Separation of Non-compliant WPM:

        a. The requesting party must submit a completed CBP 3499 – Application and Approval to Manipulate, Examine, Sample or Transfer Merchandise, to SCBPO Juan Saldana/Port Authority Office or SCBPA Richard Karstrom/Gulfwinds Office within one business day after the hold has been placed. In the case of a consolidated shipment, any affected importer or party of interest may make application under the guidelines of this protocol. All appropriate forms and evidentiary materials required by this WPM regulation must be presented and all expense will accrue to the applicant.

        The importer, or their representative or other party of interest, must submit to the Port Director evidence of their commitment to export the non-compliant WPM that are separated from the merchandise referenced in the CBP 3499, (e.g., T&E, IE, etc.). This evidence must be presented at the time of submission of the CBP 3499 and may consist of various elements, but will usually include the participation of the carrier.

        c. The T&E or IE must describe the WPM fully with an additional caption that states the following: "The material is non-compliant with the ISPM-15 Standard."

        The separation procedures will take place at any location that the Port Director deems appropriate for that purpose. This will usually be where CBP Officers or Agriculture Specialists perform examination work, such as a CES, carrier facility or bonded warehouse.

        For further information, please call SCBPO Juan Saldana,

        (281) 470-5285, fax number (281) 470-0195, SCBPA Richard Karstrom (281) 867-0981 ext. 225, fax number (281) 470-8150.


Robert B. Keller

Acting Area Port Director