Control your environmental risks – do you import wooden packaging from outside the EU?
Published: Monday 28th May 2012
Many organisations are unaware of the plant health regulations that apply to wooden packaging materials such as packing cases, crates, boxes and pallets.
Organisations of any size that import materials using wooden packaging from outside the EU need to be aware of the possibility that they may be bringing in unwelcome visitors in the form of exotic beetles.
There has been a recent outbreak of the Asian Long Horned beetle near Paddock Wood in Kent, and work is underway to fell all trees within the infestation area covering an 8 hectare area. The beetle is not dangerous to humans but can bite the skin if picked up.
It is thought the beetles originated from wood packaging used to import stone from China at a nearby industrial site.
Organisations that import materials using wooden packaging either directly or via a subsidiary need to ensure that they are aware of the relevant legislation relating to plant health requirements. One way of keeping up to date with legislation is to subscribe to our Register of Legislation service.
Organisations need to have procedures in place to ensure they minimise the risk of these exotic insects arriving at their sites, very commonly you can see tiny boreholes in the wooden packaging where insect larvae are incubating. Also companies need to have emergency procedures in place in order to react effectively to an infestation, to prevent the spread of these insects to the local countryside.
Technical specifications exist to ensure that imported wood comply with regulations. Imported wooden packaging must be made from debarked wood, and be subject to treatment either by heat or fumigation. One way to check that your wooden packaging is compliant is to check for country codes and IPPC logos that confirm approved treatment.
Christine Dhammi, Sustainability Officer said,
'Lots of companies are unaware of the impact an infestation of these insects can have on their operations. One of the ways to eradicate these insects is to fumigate your premises, and this can be costly in many ways. Here at Business Sustain we can help you implement procedures to control this scenario.'