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The United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service(APHIS) set up import regulations for Wood Packaging Material(WPM) that was posted in the Federal Register September 16, 2004. Enforcement began September 16, 2005, with full enforcement starting February 1, 2006. Most of the European Union, Australia and most of Sourth America have also adopted these standards. Over 28 countries participate in the program and more continue to join as global pressure is applied.

The regulation requires regulated WPM used in international trade to be treated to kill harmful insects that may be present. WPM must be marked with the International Plant Protection Convention(IPPC) logo. Paper treatment certificates will no longer be required or accepted. Containers used for shipping human remains are considered Wood Packaging Materials (WPM). The IPPC stamp must be visible on opposing corners of the containers.

IPPC Stamp:

The regulation restricts the importation of many types of wood articles, including wooden packaging such as pallets, crates, boxes, and pieces of wood used to support or brace cargo. Effective September 16, 2005, the U.S. Regulation allowed non-compliant regulated WPM to be returned to its shipping origin. Regulated WPM does no include any manufactured items, such as worked wood items. Wooden Caskets are considered worked wood items.

How Does This Affect Our Industry

When the regulation for WPM is enforced it means if a human remains shipment is sent to one of the participating countries in a shipping container that does not cary the IPPC stamp, the shipping container can be refused and sent back to the sender.

Funeral Homes and Shipping Companies should be aware of this new regulation and require all their shipping containers to carry the IPPC stamp. C & L Containers, Inc. is a registered and approved supplier of IPPC stamped containers. C & L Containers, Inc. stamp ALL of our shipping containers at no additional cost to our customers.