Industry Advice Notice no. G2009/04
1 July 2009
Revised guidelines for the Australian Wood Packaging Certification Scheme (AWPCS) for exports.
The purpose of this notice is to advise industry of the changes to the AWPCS that incorporates the revised ISPM 15 standard—Regulation of Wood Packaging Material in International Trade (2009).
In March 2002, the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) adopted the International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM 15)—Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade. This standard recognises that wood packaging without treatment is a risk for the spread of quarantine pests. As such, the standard advocates that countries adopt import and export regulatory controls in accordance with the ISPM 15. As a signatory to the IPPC, Australia is obliged to implement this standard.
The Australian Wood Packaging Certification Scheme (AWPCS) is a certification scheme that has been developed by AQIS to ensure that Australian treatment providers (heat treatment and fumigation) and wood packaging manufacturers produce wood packaging material that meets the requirements set out in the ISPM 15.
Under the AWPCS, treatment providers and wood packaging manufacturers that meet the ISPM 15 requirements are authorised by AQIS to apply an internationally recognised certification mark to wood packaging material produced for use in the export trade.
Participation in the scheme is not mandatory. However, exporters of raw wooden packaging will need to meet the requirements of ISPM 15 to meet an importing country's conditions of entry.
As at 1 July 2009, all new AWPCS applicants will be required to comply with the AWPCS (2009) before accreditation is granted.
For existing AWPCS treatment providers and wood packaging manufacturers it is a requirement to comply with the changes to the AWPCS (2009) no later than 1 July 2010.
Changes to the AWPCS (2009)
Some of the changes that are incorporated to the AWPCS (2009) include:
- all wood packaging material for export must now be debarked
- communication responsibilities for the delivery of the AWPCS
- retrospective marking policy
- use of veneer peeler core
- increased exposure time for Methyl Bromide
- guidelines for applying the certification mark to articles manufactured from heat treated and fumigated wood
- guidelines for determining the minimum temperature during fumigation
- clarification of information that is required on treatment certificates
- guidelines for on-selling treated timber to other certified manufacturers
- administrative procedures for changing certification bodies
- procedures for advising of changes in scope to certified facilities
- application of certification mark prior to assembly of wooden packaging
- security of the certification mark
- requirements for off-site manufacturing
- clarification concerning the requirements for producing and on-selling wooden packaging kits
- clarification on unapproved use of the ISPM 15 mark
- requirements for relocation of certified facilities.
How the AWPCS works
The Joint Accreditation System Australia New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) accredits third party certification bodies who are responsible for assessing applications for certification under the AWPCS, conducting initial site audits and on-going verification audits. Once a company has passed inspection, the certification body will advise AQIS who will then assign the company with a unique AWPCS certification number. The company is then approved to apply the internationally recognised mark to wood packaging material that has been treated by an approved method.
How to apply for certification under the AWPCS
Applications for certification under the AWPCS are made to accredited certification bodies who are accredited by JAS-ANZ. Details of certification bodies is located on the AQIS website.
ISPM 15 compliant countries
A list of implementation dates for importing countries is located on the AQIS website.
Please note: This information is provided as a guide only. Individual country implementation dates may change without notice and it is the responsibility of the exporter to comply with importing country requirements at the time of export. Exporters are advised to discuss importing country requirements with their designated importers.
For further information clients should contact Samantha Styles by phone: 02 6272 5093.
Grain and Plant Products Exports Program
Contact Officer: Samantha Styles or Mila Jukic
Phone: 02 6272 5093
Fax: 02 6272 3745