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Thread: Fumigation of wood for export crating

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    Fumigation of wood for export crating

    Dave,

    Would it be possible for you to assist me.

    Our company does specialist crating, we used to have a Pest Control company fumigate the finished container, but this caused us major hassles, as we required it done on site and within minutes of finishing the manufacture of the crate.
    These would be mostly for extremely urgent air freight and the 24 hour waiting period from the time they fumigated to when the cover could be lifted off, and the crate given to the client. Clients would not accept this delay.

    Presently we purchase Heat Treated timber from a Timber Merchant who guaranteed the heat treatment process and provided a certificate from the Dept. of Agriculture.
    We do not know if their guarantee has any validity when a problem arises.

    We have today received a press release from SAPCA advising that there is no accredited agency able to claim that heat treated timber is in compliance.

    At present we have a shipment which has been stopped in China with a claim that it is infested. We are paying for an investigation of compliance, but the client is naturally extremely annoyed as his shipment is impounded whilst this is investigated.

    We must have a completely reliable system of fumigation and proof of fumigation and very quick turnaround.

    Could you consult for us, and could you possibly make any suggestions on how we can achieve our objectives, which are that
    1. We must be able to manufacture the crates and have it go out immediately.
    2. No possibility of contamination, or infestation claim by any party, we must have legal evidence of compliance.

    What is the period of time after Methyl bromide treatment, before the wood is no longer considered compliant. We have been advised that this is 15 years, is this correct?

    Is there “Evidence” that wood has been treated with Methyl Bromide, how does an expert prove that the wood is in compliance?

    Appreciate your answer as soon as possible.

    Yours truly,


    Yvonne Symons

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Hi Yvonne,

    Implementation of ISPM15 in South Africa has been, to put it politely, less than perfect. A major cause is that the relevant government department took a risk management approach as opposed to a strict compliance approach. Effectively, this already contravened the ISPM15 standard. Add the usual dose of opportunists and chancers.... Anticipating some serious repercussions from the outset, I resolved that our company would not pursue this type of work depite having the capacity.

    As a result, although I have been present at numerous meetings and even chaired a few when the subject has been discussed, I don't profess to be an expert on the subject. But I'll answer what I can and hopefully someone more knowledgable of the finer details will fill the blanks (or correct me where I'm wrong ) I know of at least two existing Forum SA members who are very knowledgable on the subject.

    So to cover some of your points as raised:
    We have today received a press release from SAPCA advising that there is no accredited agency able to claim that heat treated timber is in compliance.
    I'm going to PM you my fax number - please fax me the press release.

    I seem to recall that there are accredited heat treatment plants. However, last I heard only one in the country wsa thought to be able to meet the ISPM15 spec. I can't recall any SAPCA press releases on the subject, but I've been out of the chair for over 6 months now. I do know there has been considerable cause for concern in this area though. I need to check the date and exact context of the release.
    At present we have a shipment which has been stopped in China with a claim that it is infested. We are paying for an investigation of compliance, but the client is naturally extremely annoyed as his shipment is impounded whilst this is investigated.
    There is a procedure for this which needs to be followed. Whomever's ISPM15 stamp was used to mark the timber may be liable for all costs associated with the problem if it is proved. This might involve fumigation or heat treatment there - or return of the problem shipment. Again, from memory, China insists on heat treatment for their outbound ISPM15 material - there may be a problem arranging for methyl bromide fumigation that side.

    I would involve the local ISPM15 authority in the problem. I'll get a number for you in the morning. With any luck you'll be able to pass on the costs elsewhere (unless the timber material was not stamped?)

    could you possibly make any suggestions on how we can achieve our objectives, which are that
    1. We must be able to manufacture the crates and have it go out immediately.
    2. No possibility of contamination, or infestation claim by any party, we must have legal evidence of compliance.
    The main advantage of methyl bromide fumigation is that you can load straight after treatment, massively reducing the possibility of infestation between treatment and shipment. The whole issue of the potential for infestation after any of the treatment options is to my mind a thorny issue.

    There are options:
    • Use heat treated timber to make up the packaging - I would refuse delivery of any plank that does no have the ISPM15.
    • Have the timber methyl bromide fumigated and then use to make up the packaging. If I was the fumigator, I would want to stamp every timber and have a pest management program in place at the facilities where the timber was stored and the packaging assembled. I would also insist that untreated timber does not enter the controlled area unitl it has been fumigated.


    On the subject of the stamps, I hear there are issues in terms of the control of stamps and their use. There are allegations of copying and fraudulent use.

    For your protection, make sure you have traceability. Document batch numbers, ISPM15 stamp numbers and which shipments were made from which batches. If I was doing ISPM15, as the responsible person I'd be making sure that traceability covered me against fraudulent use.
    What is the period of time after Methyl bromide treatment, before the wood is no longer considered compliant. We have been advised that this is 15 years, is this correct?
    I'm hesitant to confirm or deny. I recall thinking it was ridiculously long given the objectives of the program, as well as longer than the likely life expectancy of the material. I'll get back to you.

    Is there “Evidence” that wood has been treated with Methyl Bromide, how does an expert prove that the wood is in compliance?
    No. And without a solid audit trail, I have no idea.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Yvonne,

    I've PM'd you some more info that probably shouldn't go onto the open web just yet.

    At this stage, about the most useful thing I've found is the official IPPC site.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    OK. Got a copy of the Press Release from SAPCA dated 12/03/2007.

    Reading it, it seems materially correct although it needs to be read closely along with a proper understanding of the standard itself. I think it is this part you are referring to, Yvonne.
    There is at present no accredited HT agency to accredit a claimed HT facility in South Africa, nor do most of the claimed HT facilities remotely fulfill the criteria! In fact, these are at most Kiln facilities that need to invest substantially in their facilities to comply.
    Now I think what is being referred to here is that a suitable independent party (such as SANS for example) needs to test the facility to ensure compliance to the ISPM 15 standard. And we know that the standard timber drying kilns that have been curing timber in the traditional method cannot achieve and maintain the temperatures required.

    The contents of the Press Release do not seem to be in conflict with my earlier comments, so it seems at least I have not led you astray.

    I shall endeavour to get Andre, who actually drafted the release, to comment further if needed.
    Last edited by Dave A; 16-Mar-07 at 01:10 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Thanks

    Dave,

    I find it truly fascinating how much we have to "learn" on subjects we would never have given a thought to before!
    I never dreamt that I would need to take an interest in fumigation.

    Thank you very much for all the info.
    Greatly appreciated.


    Yvonne Symons

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    ISPM 15

    Here is the original draft as required.

    Regards


    Andre'
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Press Release

    The press release we have is dated 12/3/2007

    If you would like a copy please let me have your e-mail address.

    Regards
    Yvonne

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    I received this enquiry via the contact us link with this page as reference:
    Hi,

    Please could you advise me - I have purchases wooden carved African animals as a wedding present for a friend of mine who is resident in the UK. She is coming over to visit and collect them next month and I need to know if these pieces first need to be fumigated, and if so, where this can be done?

    I need to know where I can go, or who I can contact in order to find out what the procedure is. I would really appreciate any advice that you can give me.


    Thanks
    I'm posting the answer here for the benefit of anyone else making a similar query and ending up on this page.

    Curios do not fall under ISPM15 which is a standard for packaging material. However, some countries require a phytosanitary certificate on products that may contain or introduce harmful organisms.

    As far as I know the UK does not require a phytosanitary certificate on curios. However, it is common enough that these do have some sort of wood-destroying beetle infestation that fumigating them is a good idea anyway. And you may as well get a phytosanitary certificate while you're about it if you are taking the curio to a foreign country.

    Not all companies do this sort of fumigation but you can find a SAPCA member company near you here who at worst should be able to steer you in the right direction.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Hi All, I know this thread is old and please move or ask me to open a new one if needed.

    I just need a little bit of guidance on fumigation. I have met with companies that does the fumigation and it is crazy expensive. We basically have a eCommerce site that exports curios and wooden hand made items mainly to US & UK (and other countries if orders come in soon). I need more info on when do we need to fumigate our products for example, if the wood is thicker than what width etc?

    What might be best practice to make sure you get good service for a reasonable price with no hiccups. I have tried reading up on a lot of website and the information feel very scattered.

    I will also look for more companies to provide details. Currently the company that we use can't do heat treatment as it damages the paint. Also the certificate is only valid for a month meaning it could expire when it reaches the other countries. Is the one month certification industry standard?

    Posting this message with the hope for some direction or guidance to sort out this challenge. All help is appreciated.

    Kind Regards
    Michael

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