To encourage compliance for wood packing materials (WPM)—which include crates, pallets, skids, blocking and bracing, etc. used for packing cargo—Customs will change the way it issues penalties on WPM violations, beginning November 1, 2017. In a recent CSMS message, Customs explains this change, “responsible parties with a documented WPM violation may be issued a penalty under 19 USC § 1595a(b) or under 19 USC § 1592.” There will no longer be a five violation threshold, as there was in the past. Instead, each WPM violation may incur a penalty.
Common violations are wood packing materials that are unmarked or inappropriately marked and infestations. Possible penalties could include fines equal to the value of the product that is in violation, as well as immediate exportation of said product at the expense of the responsible importer, carrier, or bonded custodian.
With U.S. Customs decreasing its lenience, it will be even more important to make sure your wood packing materials are up to standards.
Read up on our previous article on getting serious about wood packing materials.