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Individual Highlight

Fewer Pests Found in Wood Packaging Material Following New International Standards

Photo of High-risk cargo is unloaded from containers after arrival at U.S. ports of entry and inspected for pests. Shown here is one of the special inspection warehouses used at the port of Long Beach, Calif. Bob Haack, USDA Forest ServiceHigh-risk cargo is unloaded from containers after arrival at U.S. ports of entry and inspected for pests. Shown here is one of the special inspection warehouses used at the port of Long Beach, Calif. Bob Haack, USDA Forest ServiceSnapshot : Wood packaging material such as pallets and crating must now be treated for pests prior to export when used in international trade. A Forest Service researcher, working with U.S. and international researchers, analyzed data on pest interceptions on imported cargo from before and after the United States implemented the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) in the mid-2000s and found that the incidence of live wood-infesting pests fell by as much as 52 percent.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Haack, Robert A. 
Research Location : US
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2014
Highlight ID : 596

Summary

A new international standard for treating wood packaging material, now in use in international trade for items such as pallets and crating, was first adopted by the world community in 2002. This standard, known as International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15), stipulates how wood packaging material should be treated prior to use in packing goods for export. The United States started requiring foreign countries to comply with ISPM 15 when shipping goods to the United States in 2005. A Forest Service research entomologist and his colleagues found as much as a 52 percent drop in the infestation rate of wood packaging material associated with international imports entering the United States following implementation of ISPM 15. This is encouraging news given that many of our invasive bark- and wood-infesting insects, such as the Asian longhorned beetle and the emerald ash borer, likely entered the U.S. as stowaways in untreated wood packaging from foreign ports.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Kerry O. Britton, USDA Forest Service, R&D, Arlington, VA (retired)
  • Amelia Nuding, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Eckehard G. Brockerhoff, Scion (New Zealand Forest Research Institute), Christchurch, New Zealand, and Mark Kimberley Scion, Rotorua, New Zealand
  • Frank Lowenstein, New England Forestry Foundation, Littleton, MA
  • James Turner, AgResearch Ltd., Ruakura Research Centre, Hamilton, New Zealand
  • Joseph F. Cavey, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine, Riverdale, MD, and Lynn J. Garrett, Raleigh, NC
  • Lars J. Olson, University of Maryland, Agricultural and Resource Economics, College Park
  • and Kathryn N. Vasilaky, Earth Institute and International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University, New York, NY

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