Jamaica will be enforcing the adopted International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) regulations ISPM#15, for solid-wood packaging material in international trade, as of January 1, 2011.

The regulation covers: pallets, dunnage, crating, packing blocks, drums, cases, load boards, pallet collars and skids which can be present in almost any imported or exported consignment. However, it excludes wood packaging made wholly of wood-based products such as plywood, plastic board, oriented strand board or veneer that has been created using glue, heat and pressure or a combination thereof.

The regulation will affect “wood packaging” both imports and exports.  All materials must be treated and marked in accordance with the requirements of ISPM 15.

Delays in clearing cargoes, due to non-compliance, for shippers both to and from Jamaica could potentially be significant. Further costs for non-compliance could possibly include additional logistics and expenses for treatment and re-handling. Seaboard Marine encourages all of our customers to take steps now to ensure compliance.

According to local Jamaican authorities, shipments containing non-compliant wood-packaging materials (WPM) will be handled the following way:

  1. Shipments containing WPM that violate the rule may be allowed entry only if the Plant Quarantine Branch determines that it is feasible to separate the cargo from the non-compliant WPM. An arrangement to have the non-compliant WPM treated is required before the cargo can be released to the consignee. All costs associated with the treatment is the responsibility of the importer or party of interest. 
  2. If treatment is not an appropriate alternative for protection of the country, the non-compliant wood-packaging material will be destroyed by incineration at the expense of the importer.
  3. The Plant Quarantine Branch will require the immediate re-exportation of any shipment consisting wholly of unmarked WPM that is not in compliance with the ISPM 15 treatment and marking standard.
  4. The Plant Quarantine Branch will also require the immediate re-exportation of any marked WPM that is found to be infested with a live wood-boring pest of the families cerambycidae (longhorned beetle), buprestidae (wood-boring beetles), siricidae (woodwasps), cossidae (carpenter moth), curculionidae (weevils), platypodidae (ambrosia beetles), sesiidae (clearwing moths) and scolytidae (bark beetles).
  5. Non-compliant ship-borne dunnage must be secured on the marine vessel so that pests may not escape while in Jamaican waters (e.g., under tarp, cover or within closed holds or containers), or in a container secured against the escape of pests (e.g., a closed disposal bin). Failure to hold ship-borne dunnage appropriately may result in additional enforcement measures being applied to the person or organization having custody of the dunnage.
  6. Alternatively, to ensure that ship-borne dunnage does not pose a risk for the entry of a pest, the Plant Quarantine Branch may permit non-compliant ship-borne dunnage to enter and be treated in accordance with Plant Quarantine Branch treatment protocol for non-compliant WPM.

Disposal of wood-packaging materials is a risk-management option that may be used by the National Plant Protection Organisation of the importing country upon arrival of wood-packaging materials where treatment is not available or desirable. Recommended disposal methods include incineration and burial.

For further information, please call the Jamaican Plant Quarantine Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture at 876-977-0637 or the Seaboard Marine office in Kingston at 876-923-0054