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Alerts and Updates

New Regulation Gets Tough on Imported Wood Packaging not Treated for Timber Pests

September 27, 2017

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Since September 16, 2005, non-exempt wood packaging material (WPM) imported into the United States is required to have been treated at an approved facility in its place of origin to kill harmful timber pests that may be present in the wood article. Regulations require that the WPM must display a visible mark to show it meets treatment requirements and its country of origin, producer and method of treatment. The mark must be approved under the International Plant Protection Convention.

Any WPM of foreign origin found to be lacking appropriate markings under the convention or found to be infested with timber pests is considered not properly treated to kill timber pests and in violation of the regulation.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for enforcing the regulation at ports of entry. Effective November 1, 2017, responsible parties (importer, carrier or bonded custodian) with a documented WPM violation may be issued a penalty under 19 USC § 1595a(b), penalty for aiding unlawful importation, or under 19 USC § 1592, penalties for fraud, gross negligence and negligence. CBP previously had a five-violations threshold before applying the statutory penalty provisions. Please refer to CBP CSMS #17-000609 for the full CBP notice.

For More Information

If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact Brian S. Goldstein, any member of the International Practice Group or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.