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“Homemade” packaging solutions for export and risk level

Some companies choose to manufacture their own wood crates and pallets for export. However, contrary to popular belief, it is not enough to buy heat treated wood in hardware stores to comply with the regulations for export.

packaging solutions for export and Heat treated wooden crate for export

Indeed, if they don’t take all the required elements into account, some companies using “homemade” solutions or remanufactured products will have their packaging refused by the country of destination, and this, even if the products were heat treated and labeled HT (Heat treated).


The HT label is not enough for your packagings to comply with export.


Beyond thermal treatment

If your company builds its own wood packages for export, you must follow strict standards that go beyond thermal treatment.

Of course, if you export to the United States, there is an exception with the bilateral arrangement on softwood lumber, but all other types of export follow some laws and regulations it is essential to know.

As a result, if your packaging does not meet 100% of the standards, it will be refused entry, but it could also be returned, or even destroyed.

Here are some examples of cases that seem to correspond to the standards but that would be automatically refused entry by the importing country:

  • The packaging was conceived with heat treated wood (HT), but the company that made it is not CWPCP certified;

  • The packaging originally met the standards but has been fixed or modified with a piece of wood from a third party, thus making it non-compliant;

  • After the merchandise was packed in a compliant crate, some wooden block has been added in the crate, and it is not ISPM15 certified;

  • The wooden block used in the sea container has not been heat treated or stamped, which makes the whole packaging non-compliant;

  • The packaging meets the standards and is correctly stamped but contains bark residue banned from export by Australia, that has stricter export standards than everywhere else (for Australia, you must tell the manufacturer about it when you place your order so that the wood used meets their standards that are different from other places);

  • The wood of the packaging has been kiln-dried but not with the ISPM15 standard;

  • The packaging was made by a company that is not listed or registered in the program and is consequently not officially certified;

  • The crate was made from a certified pallet, but the other parts of wood on the crate have not been treated or stamped, making the packaging non-compliant.

What type of wood packaging meets the standards?

The international regulations on wood packaging require the exported wood to be heat treated with a minimum internal temperature of 56 ºC for at least 30 minutes. This process ensures the destruction of all unusual pests.

So, to comply, a wood packaging manufacturer must meet the phytosanitary regulations from the receiving country, but above all, he must have the required certification to prove he meets the phytosanitary ISPM15 standard.

These certifications are a prerequisite to the right of manufacturing wood packaging and of labeling it with the ISPM15 stamp from IPPC. They include the Canadian Heat Treatment Wood Products Certification program (CHTWPCT) as well as the Canadian Wood Packaging Certification program (CWPCP).


The IPPC stamp must be on all the wood packaging destined to export.


In addition, the certifications require to maintain a traceability book based on phytosanitary regulations at the same time as the company is strictly controlled and regularly examined by impartial inspectors.

Why are these certifications required for export?

In order to avoid propagating moist, worms, insects, parasites or unusual pests such as the emerald ash borer or the Asian longhorned beetle in wood packaging, every step of the production process is regulated. The certified companies must then prove that the whole process follows the required standards from the felling of the trees, the heat treatment to the wooden crates or pallets assembling and storage.

This way, every step is certified to guarantee a “clean” process and that the wooden pallets or crates will not have any problems. It is also more practical to trace the original source if there is a problem and to avoid eventual court action.

What are the consequences for the export of non-compliant wood packaging?

If a transporter, an intermediary or the legal authority from a country state that your shipment is not 100% compliant, your delivery could be refused entry, sent back to your company, it could end up in quarantine, be fumigated or even destroyed…all this at your own cost!

The ‘’non-compliance’’ as well as violations of the regulations can also lead to fines according to the Agriculture Monetary Penalties Act.

Who is responsible if controlled parasites are found?

If controlled parasites are found in the wooden blocks, pallets or crates that you conceived or modified, you will have to take full responsibility. You can even be submitted to an investigation and have to take the legal consequences. You should better do business with a company that can ensure you a compliant delivery, or if need be, that will take full responsibility thanks to the traceability process.

At CPCQ, our products are heat treated and meet the international standards of all the countries. We possess all the necessary certifications to guarantee a hassle-free and no surprises export. We are HT certified, ISPM15 certified, CFIA approved and a member of the CWPCA.

Visit our website to learn more about our products.

You can also read the text “Save money thanks to our consultants in packaging’’ to discover how we can help you save a significant amount of money for your future export projects.


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