China increases requirements for U.S. shipping containers because of Zika virus

23 Aug 2016

The United States Department of Agriculture issued an update on China’s current shipping requirements regarding the Zika virus from infected countries. As of August 18, 2016 China requires all U.S. vessels that depart the United States to comply. How these new standards affect wood packaging for ISPM-15 compliance is being addressed by American Lumber Standards Committee. Special Assistant Paul Conway has taken questions from manufacturers trying to understand whether China’s shipping requirements affect them.

Conway says when understanding China’s requirements it’s important to remember China does not require the proof of disinsection on packaging. The USDA’s update says, “All shipments (air and sea vessels) originating from the United States are required to provide some proof of disinsection at the Chinese port. The disinsection requirement (and therefore the proof of disinsection) applies to the container or vessel, NOT to the goods being shipped. Therefore, if the entire vessel can provide proof, in the form of a certificate, that the vessel is free of mosquitoes, then no additional inspection needs to be carried out.”

Disinsection is not the same as disinfection and means the killing of live mosquitoes, their larva and eggs. Conway says because the life cycle of a mosquito is in water, not in wood, manufacturers in the ISPM-15 compliance program should not be concerned. Conway says the requirements are focused more on the fumigation of the container than packaging.

The requirements can be confusing and if you have questions in regards to the ISPM-15 compliance program please contact us. Also, AWIS can assist you in obtaining a disinsection certificate if you believe your company requires documentation.