Untreated lumber can be a major problem when it comes to exporting and importing because it has a tendency to spread pests. However, the U.S. has instituted the heat treatment program as a way to curb this problem. This is why lumber for export must be treated with heat or with methyl bromide fumigation.
Exported lumber falls under the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, which is known in the industry as ISPM15. The International Plant Protection Convention adopted these measures as a way to keep pests from spreading between countries that are importing or exporting wood and other types of plants. ISPM15 is the standard all heat treated lumber for export must follow. Even wood that is used as packing material must follow these guidelines.
One of the biggest problems with exporting heat treated lumber is making sure that the proper mark gets on the product before it gets loaded onto the ship or aircraft that is transporting it.
The international heat treatment programs require that the quality or treatment mark on the product meet these standards:
* It must contain the trademark of the agency, also known as the logo or official symbol of the accredited agency.
* It must identify the facility. A number is used to tell where the product came from, the name of the manufacturer, and the brand.
* It must indicate whether the product is heat treated or methyl bromide treated.
* It must have the proper country code.
* The international symbol indicating that the product meets IPPC standards for lumber for export must be part of the stamp.
* Heat treated lumber for export that will be used as wood dunnage must be marked with the letters DUN.
It is important to realize that no company or individual can create their own mark according to these guidelines. Every manufacturer of heat treated lumber for export must be registered with the proper accrediting agencies. But the good news is that once lumber has been treated and marked properly for export, that treatment does not expire, no matter how long it has been since the treatment. The only exception to the rule is if the wood has been either recycled or repaired.
All business owners and managers dealing with imports and exports of any kind should take steps to understand international laws and guidelines dealing with lumber for export - even if that lumber is simply being used as packaging material. This is one of those details that can easily get overlooked, especially if you are concerned with your product getting to another country in good shape. But when you are talking about exports, everything - even the packaging - is under scrutiny. You don't want to be responsible for the spread of pests, and you don't want to deal with having your products destroyed because you did not follow international rules and regulations.
International law is certainly nothing to mess around with. You need a company that understands the finer details of importing and exporting. This will help give your business a leg up against the competition. Every business owner needs all of his suppliers and vendors looking for him. If they aren't, then it's time to get new ones.
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