Phytosanitary control of certain wood packaging materials

By implementing Decision (EU) 2018/1137 , the Commission amended, with effect from 01 October 2018, the procedure for the control of wooden packaging materials used for the transport of certain goods originating in Belarus and the People’s Republic of China. Due to technical coordination, however, the plant protection services of the federal states decided to implement the provisions of the resolution only from 01.11.2018. Wood materials from certain third countries pose a high phytosanitary risk for the European Union. The extension of the control arrangements is intended to prevent the introduction of dangerous plant pests more effectively.

Strong expansion of control systems

In addition to the general extension of the control arrangements, the list of specified goods subject to the control arrangements has also been extended. Whereas previously only goods with five different code numbers were affected, there are now already 48 code numbers. The codes are affected in detail:

2514 00 00

2515

2516

4401

4415

4418

4421

4504 90 80

4823 90 85

6501 00

6801 00 00

6802

6803 00

6810

6811 40

6902 00

6904 00

6905 00

6906 00

6907

6912 00 23

6912 00 83

7108 13 80

7110 19 80

7210

7304 31 20

7304 41 00

7313 00

7317 00

7318

7415

8101 96

8102 96

8205 90 10

8407 33 20

8407 33 80

8424 49 10

8424 82 90

8424 89 40

8424 89 70

8465 93

8467 29 51

8544 19 00

8544 49 91

8708 30 10

8708 40 20

8708 91 20

8708 92 20

 

Packaging consisting exclusively of wood-based materials such as plywood, chipboard or OSB boards and not covered by the International Standard ISPM 15 continues to be excluded from the control systems. These are wooden packages which have already been treated and debarked against pest infestation prior to import from third countries.

Customs clearance procedure

The new rules provide that airport and port authorities and other official bodies responsible for the control of the movement of goods or any operator involved in the importation of specified goods containing wood packaging material will in future notify the customs office of entry and the responsible official body in advance of the imminent arrival of the wood packaging material as soon as they become aware of it.

In addition, the wood packaging material of the specified goods will now be subject to regular phytosanitary inspections. It is for each Member State to determine a sampling percentage. The percentage may not be less than one percent. Pending the completion of the phytosanitary checks, both the packaging material and the specified goods shall remain under customs supervision in order to ensure that the free movement of those goods within the territory of the Union does not give rise to phytosanitary risks.

Should plant health checks show that the packaging materials of the specified products from Belarus and China do not comply with the applicable rules or are contaminated by certain harmful organisms, Member States shall ensure that the wood packaging materials concerned are destroyed as intended. Importers of the products listed above should therefore be prepared for any possible delay in handling their products.

Lawyer Dr. Tristan Wegner

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