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Australia - UK exporters are advised that the Australian Quarantine requirements prohibit the entry of wood products infected with non indigenous bluestain. It should be noted that treatment in accordance with ISPM 15 specifications is not lethal to bluestain fungi, and in fact heat treatment in the absence of moisture reduction is likely to increase susceptibility to infection.

Our advice, therefore, is to use only wood packaging material which, in addition to having been either heat treated or fumigated to ISPM 15 specifications, has additionally been kiln-dried to below 20% moisture content. This may be indicated by the mark 'KD' or 'kiln-dried' on the wood packaging unit (including dunnage), but it must not be included within the border of the ISPM 15 mark. As any timber, including kiln dried material, has a tendency absorb condensation during long voyages in a freight container, kiln drying does not guarantee that bluestain infection will not develop.

Australia - has published Notice 30 Introduction of mandatory treatment requirements for all solid wood packaging and dunnage, effective 1 January 2006. From that date Australia has begun to phase in mandatory treatment requirements for all solid wood packaging and dunnage.Australia implemented ISPM15 in September 2004, but not in respect of WPM used in air cargo. From 1 January 2006, Australia will require all WPM and dunnage to be ISPM15 compliant and marked (to view WTO notification). In addition, all WPM and dunnage must be bark-free and, if fumigated, the exposure time must be 24hours, not 16 hours as in ISPM15 (under review). The UKWPMMP already requires that fumigation is carried out over 24 hours. (Updated 21 September 2005).

During the phase in period, until 1 May 2006, there will be no changes to the quarantine clearance arrangements for containerised sea-freight packaging timber. The FCL/FCX and LCL Broker Accreditation Schemes will continue as normal.

During this phase, however, AQIS will monitor compliance with the new treatment requirements for wood packaging associated with imported break-bulk and air cargo. Break bulk and air cargo consignments will be subject to surveillance by AQIS and stickers alerting importers to the new treatment requirements will be placed on cargo that does not bear ISPM15 treatment stamps. (Updated 22 February 2006).

(AQIS) formally implemented ISPM15 alongside their existing regulations with effect from 1 September 2004. This action gives exporters a choice of treatment options to choose and is mainly for the benefit of countries that do not have ISPM15 compliant wood marking programmes in place yet. Details of the new rules are set out in AQIS Notice to Industry No 19 . (Last updated:17 August 2004). To view examples of AQIS supplier/packer declarations, (full container loads) (less than full container loads). (Last update 23 August 2004).

The declarations can be completed by the Exporter as AQIS have confirmed that their reference to 'Suppliers' also eant 'Exporters'. Suppliers (i.e. the exporters) do not need to put UKWPMMP/ISPM 15 unique registration numbers on the packing declarations. the only number that is required is a numerical to link between the declaration and the container/shipment. The intention is for the supplier to fill out the declaration as they are the ones that AQIS will be targeting for increased surveillance/profiling if surveillance shows a problem.

We have been advised that AQIS has no quarantine concerns with packing made solely of reconstituted wood products. Reconstituted wood products are those that no longer contain solid wood as a result of the manufacturing process and include particleboard, chipboard, masonite, oriented strand board, medium and high density fibreboard. AQIS have published the following Public Quarantine Alerts which wood packaging manufacturers and exporters using packaging materials made from processed wood products should familiarise themselves with -

PQA0389 - Importation of peeler cores as packaging or dunnage

PQA0390 - Amended import conditions for panel products

PQA0404 - Changed import requirements for packing made solely from reconstituted wood products (includes particleboard, chipboard, masonite, oriented strand board (OSB), medium and high density fibreboard).

All of these PQA's can be viewed on AQIS's site.

Documentation requirements for clearance of imported cargo

Please find the Industry Notice 61/2009 from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) relating to documentation requirements for the clearance of imported cargo. Note that Australia no longer requires a “Newly Manufactured Plywood Declaration” for plywood/veneer packaging material. This is with immediate effect. (Updated 13 November 2009).

In case of queries, contact:

Timber and Timber Products National Co-ordination Centre
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS)

Import conditions for bulk imports of plywood are provided in the AQIS Import Conditions database ICON.

Full details of the above guidance can be viewed in AQIS's Cargo Containers - Quarantine aspects and procedures manual which is updated on a regular basis.

Examples of treatment certificates and packaging declarations required by AQIS can be found on their website at -

Australia adopts ISPM15 bark tolerance for imports of wood packaging material wef 1 July 2010.

Following the adoption of the revised version of the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures Publication No. 15: Regulation of Wood Packaging Material in International Trade (ISPM 15) in April 2009, Biosecurity Services Group (BSG) undertook to review Australias requirement for bark freedom on solid wood packaging material. >From 1 July 2010 Australia will accept solid wood packaging material that is treated and marked as ISPM 15 compliant and meets the bark tolerance requirements defined in the revised ISPM 15 standard. This requires that solid wood packaging material be debarked, but allows a tolerance for small pieces of bark that have not been completely removed during milling.

This tolerance for bark will also apply to solid wood packaging treated with other AQIS approved treatments. The bark free declaration is still required but the ISPM 15 tolerance limits apply. Any wood packaging and dunnage exceeding the ISPM 15 bark tolerance limit will be subject to treatment, export or destruction at the importers expense.

Further details can be viewed on the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service's website and AQIS's Notice to Industry No. 18-2010 'Adoption of bark tolerance for imports defined in the wood packaging standard ISPM 15'

(Last Updated: 30/06/2010)