Wood packaging from China and Belarus: here is the news

From 1 October 2018, new regulations will come into force for the import of packaging and wood products from these countries

What is the incentive for the European Community to adopt a measure concerning wood packaging material from China and Belarus? In recent years we have seen the spread of various microorganisms, insects or “alien” moulds in our ecosystem that can devastate crops, gardens and damage urban greenery.

These are the killer parasites that have been threatening plants and crops in Italy for years. From the Popilla Japonica, which is destroying the vegetation between Lombardy and Piedmont, to the Xylella fastidiosa, which has massacred olive trees in Salento, to the Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, the red palm weevil, which has scourged the palms in southern Italy. These are just some of the numerous alien insects from other continents that, due to the intensification of trade, have arrived in Italy, where they found a favourable habitat due to climate change.

In view of Council Directive 2000/29/EC of 8 May 2000 on protective measures against the introduction into the Community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their spread within the Community, the European Community has adopted the following measures with effect from 1 October 2018:

Wooden packaging materials, definitions:

a) “wooden packaging material”: wood or timber products used to support, protect or transport goods, with the exception of wood processed by glue, heat or pressure or a combination of these factors and wood packaging material made entirely of wood of a thickness not exceeding 6 mm;
b) “specified products”: products originating in Belarus and China imported into the Union, supported, protected or transported by means of wooden packaging material;
c) “shipment”: quantity of goods covered by a single document required for customs or other formalities;
d) “professional operator”: any person governed by public or private law professionally involved in the introduction of wood-based material into the Union and legally responsible for such introduction.

Wood packaging materials: controls and risks

The wooden packaging material of each shipment is subject to customs supervision and may be subject to full or random checks to ensure that they are not contaminated with harmful organisms and that they are accompanied by the certificates required to certify their quality. These may be subject to one of the customs procedures for release for free circulation or special arrangements, with the exception of special procedures involving external or internal transit, or storage, including customs warehousing and in free zones, provided that the plant health checks referred to in
Article 4 have been completed. If the plant health checks reveal that the requirements have not been met or that the packaging material/wood product is infested with harmful organisms under this directive, the Member State concerned shall immediately carry out a full or random inspection to physically establish the non-compliance.
Where such non-compliance or infestation is found, the Member State concerned shall ensure the immediate destruction of such wood material.
The material shall be treated before destruction in such a way as to ensure that there is no phytosanitary risk during and after destruction.
As always, we are at your disposal for any further clarification or information that may help you to carry out your business with peace of mind.

For information: aelmi@cti-spa.com