Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More Federal Wood Packaging Regulations

The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is once again restricting the movement of wood pallets and containers. The federal agency has announced new rules in Massachusetts and Tennessee despite the issuance of an APHIS risk assessment that said there is no evidence that wood packaging contributes to the spread of these pests in the United States.
There has been confusion in the industry as a result of inaccurate reporting that said APHIS would no longer be regulating wood packaging. Following is a brief description of the regulatory authority for restricting the movement of wood packaging:
  • APHIS can regulate interstate movement of wood packaging. The agency can (and does) stop pallets and containers from a county (or entire state) from leaving that state.
  • The agriculture departments in each state are responsible for intrastate movement of wood packaging. They can block wood packaging from traveling from one county in the state to another county in the same state.
APHIS continues to regulate wood packaging via quarantine order in a reactive way when pests reach critical mass. This piecemeal approach is creating an artificial competitive disadvantage for wood packaging companies in quarantine areas.

Source: National Wooden Pallet & Container Association