CBP to Assess Fines for WPM Violations

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced that they may begin to assess penalties or liquidated damages for violations of the U.S. wood packaging material (WPM) import regulations.

Full enforcement of the WPM regulations went into effect on July 5, 2006. Since that time, CBP has applied a policy of “Informed Compliance.” WPM regulations require that all WPM entering or transiting through the U.S. must be free of timber pests and properly marked to indicate that it has been either heat treated or treated with methyl bromide in accordance with the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures: Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade (ISPM 15).

Noncompliant WPM must be exported immediately, including WPM that is inappropriately marked, unmarked, or marked but found to be infested with a live wood-boring pest. In such cases, the CBP will identity the party responsible for corrective action. All costs associated with handling the WPM violation, including exportation costs and/or penalties may be assessed against the importer, carrier, or a third party. Please note that there are no post-arrival treatment options.

The following exemptions apply to shipments moving between Canada and the U.S:

  • WPM that is made entirely from trees harvested in Canada or the U.S., and that has been used exclusively within Canada and the U.S.
  • Shipments containing WPM that arrive in Canada from the U.S., are exempt from special marking or documentation requirements .
  • Shipments containing WPM that arrive into the U.S. from Canada will be classified by CBP according to the origin of the goods they contain, unless there is information to the contrary.


For additional information on WPM treatment requirements, please visit the:

U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Web site
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Web site