The EWPAA Australian Wood Packaging Certification Scheme (AWPCS).
Wood packaging such as pallets, dunnage, crating, packing blocks, drums, cases, spools bulk heads, load boards, pallet collars, and skids used in the transport of commodities during export are often made from unprocessed raw wood. Packaging of this nature provides a pathway for the introduction and spread of pests and diseases and therefore poses a significant plant health risk.
In recognition of the plant health risk associated with wood packaging the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) has adopted a wood packaging standard: International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures - Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging in International Trade (ISPM 15).
This standard aims to significantly lessen the risk of unprocessed raw wood being used as a pathway for the introduction and the spread of most quarantine pests and diseases through international trade. As a signatory to the IPPC, Australia is obliged to implement this standard.
To meet the requirements of ISPM 15, all wood packaging material shall undergo either heat treatment or fumigation with methyl bromide. To verify that treatment has occurred and to provide traceability to the country of origin, an internationally recognised ISPM 15 certification mark shall be applied to the treated wood packaging.
The Australian Wood Packaging Certification Scheme (AWPCS) is a certification scheme that ensures that Australian treatment providers and wood packaging manufacturers produce wood packaging material that meets the ISPM 15 standard. There are three main activities involved in the production of approved wood packaging material (including dunnage): treating, manufacturing and marking. These activities can be done by separate entities, or one entity can do several or all of these activities. Under the AWPCS, wood packaging manufacturers and treatment providers who meet the requirements of ISPM 15 shall be authorised by Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) to apply the internationally recognised mark to wood packaging material produced for use in the export trade.
The AWPCS is voluntary however participants in the AWPCS agree to be bound by its rules and may face suspension from the AWPCS in the event that they breach a requirement.
The ISPM 15 mark can only be used in Australia by participants in the AWPCS who are authorised by AQIS.
The EWPAA only provides AWPCS certification for the heat treatment method. Those facilities requiring certification for methyl bromide treatment will require a different JAS-ANZ accredited certification body. These are available on the JAS-ANZ website.
If your organisation is an Australian treatment provider or wood packaging manufacturer and you would like the EWPAA to certify your organisation under the AWPCS scheme, click here to download an application form.
For a list of organisations who are already certified by the EWPAA for the AWPCS scheme, Click here.