Union Emergency Measures for Coniferous
Non-Manufactured Wood Packing Material
Effective October 1, 2001 The Commission of the European
Communities has adopted emergency measures requiring the treatment and
marking of all new and used coniferous (e.g. pine, spruce, fir) non-manufactured
wood packing material (NMWP) originating in the United States, Canada,
China, or Japan, to prevent the introduction of the pinewood nematode.
Hardwoods are exempt from the EU emergency measure. The pinewood nematode
is a microscopic eelworm that has caused extensive mortality in pines
in Japan and China.
European concern over the possible introduction
and establishment of the pinewood nematode has heightened over the past
couple of years after an outbreak in Portugal and interceptions of the
pinewood nematode in NMWP from the United States, Canada, China, and
Japan. Although the source
of the outbreak in Portugal has not been positively identified, packaging
material is believed to have been the likely pathway.
The World Trade
Organization is considering adopting a similar draft standard that would
apply to all NMWP coniferous and hardwood.
The WTO draft standard is tentatively scheduled for adoption
in April 2003.
The EU emergency
measures allow three treatment options for coniferous NMWP: heat treatment
(HT), fumigation or chemical pressure impregnation (CPI). In all cases
treated wood must bear a mark indicating the organization that treated
the NMWP and the location of that organization. The EU requires that
the HT program be an official program with official marks.
The United States has chosen to utilize the heat treated or kiln-dried
mitigation option to eliminate this pest on NMWP.
The American Lumber
Standard Committee (ALSC), at the request of USDA's Animal Plant Health
Inspection Service (APHIS), has agreed to develop and oversee the United
States' program. The program will require on-site inspections of NMWP
manufacturing facilities to verify compliance. On-site inspections will
be done by inspection agencies accredited by ALSC.
As of August 1, 2001, the American Lumber Standards Committee
organizations to participate in the HT program. The approved mark
for each of these organizations is
The countries afected by the
new regulations are as follows: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain,
Sweden, United Kingdom, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.