25 October 2007
This Notice is to advise industry of AQIS’ intention to implement revised procedures for issuing phytosanitary certificates for wood packaging material. These procedures will be implemented as of 26 November 2007.
1. Interim arrangements
AQIS implemented the Australian Wood Packaging Certification Scheme for exports in December 2004. This scheme was developed to enable exporters to purchase wood packaging material that has been treated and marked in accordance with the ISPM 15 standard. AQIS initially sought trade partner’s acceptance of a phytosanitary certificate in lieu of marked wood packaging. This arrangement was adopted on an interim basis, to assist Australian exporters and minimise disruptions in export trade. It was intended that the arrangement would remain in place until the AWPCS had been implemented and participation was at a level that enabled the majority of exporters to access ISPM 15 compliant wood packaging and therefore meet trade partner’s entry requirements.
It is now considered that participation in the AWPCS is at a level that enables all exporters to access compliant wood packaging. Consequently the interim arrangement has been reviewed and revised procedures have been developed for on-going implementation.
2. Revised procedures
The revised procedures reflect the requirements of relevant export control legislation, the Export Control (Plants and Plant Products) Orders 2005. Under these Orders, plants or plant products that require a government certificate (eg phytosanitary certificate) for the purposes of export are classified as prescribed goods. When a request for a phytosanitary certificate for wood packaging is made, then the wood packaging becomes a prescribed good and all applicable legislative requirements must be complied with.
3. Obtaining a phytosanitary certificate
AQIS recognises that some trade partners continue to accept either a phytosanitary certificate or ISPM 15 compliant wood packaging material. Under the revised procedures AQIS will issue phytosanitary certificates only where it can be demonstrated that it is an importing country requirement and all Australian legislative requirements have been complied with.
To obtain a phytosanitary certificate for wood packaging the following conditions must be met:
- The wood packaging must have been treated by a treatment provider (heat or fumigation only) who is certified under the AWPCS. A list of certified companies (the AWPCS Register) is accessible on the AQIS website at: http://www.daff.gov.au/aqis/export/timber/register
- A treatment certificate issued by the certified treatment provider must be provided to an authorised AQIS officer;
- The container system unit (ie container) which the wood packaging is to be loaded into must have been inspected by either an authorised officer or an approved inspector;
- The wood packaging must be presented to an authorised officer for inspection as it is being loaded into container system unit prior to export, this must be carried out at a registered establishment; and
- It is the exporter’s responsibility to contact their local AQIS office (Grain and Plant Products Export Section) to make arrangements for the inspection of the wood packaging and container systems unit prior to the export of the goods.
The exporter is responsible for meeting the costs associated with the inspection of the wood packaging, transportation unit and issuance of the phytosanitary certificate.
4. Wood packaging sourced from a certified treatment provider
If wood packaging is sourced from a company certified under the AWPCS and bears the internationally recognised certification mark then it is recognised as being ISPM 15 compliant. A phytosanitary certificate is not required and the packaging or container systems unit does not need to be presented to AQIS for inspection prior to export.
Exporters should note that while some trade partners still accept phytosanitary certificates in lieu of the ISPM 15 mark, their preferred option is for the use of wood packaging material that is fully compliant with the ISPM 15 standard, ie it is has been treated and bears the international mark.
5. Additional information
Additional information concerning the AWPCS and ISPM 15 is available on the department website.
Contact: 02 6272 3599