Phytosanitary Programs

Since the early 1990s, some of Canada’s main export markets have required that wood products exported by Canada be heat treated to a minimum core temperature of 56ºC for at least 30 minutes, in order to kill all pests that could be associated with wood prior to export.

The Plant Protection Act and Plant Protection Regulations require that exports from Canada meet the phytosanitary requirements of the importing country. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has put in place two export programs, the Canadian Heat Treatment Wood Products Certification Program (CHTWPCP) and the Canadian Wood Packaging Certification Program (CWPCP), which enable Canadian wood packaging producers, Canadian wood packaging heat treatment facilities and wood drying facilities accredited under the CHTWPCP to produce wood or wood packaging according to the requirements of the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 15.


Canadian Heat Treatment Wood Products Certification Program (CHTWPCP)

This program is an official certification program for exporting wood products to countries that require that these products be heat treated prior to import. Heat-treated wood according to CHTWPCP is also a source of certified wood for wood products used for the Canadian Wood Packaging Certification Program (CWPCP, D-01-05). Facilities participating in the program may be wood kilns, sawmills, prefabricated houses or log house manufacturers, brokers, re-manufacturers or shippers of wood products.

The Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC) and the Quebec Wood Export Bureau (Q-WEB) are recognized service providers and may offer their members the service to certify their facilities under the CHTWPCP, which gives them the right to apply the official stamp of the QFIC. This mark is recognized by the Canadian Lumber Standards Accreditation Board (CLSAB) and the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC). Participation in this program also allows the mark for wood packaging to be applied and heat treatment certificates to be issued. To know more, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s web site. To know accredited companies, click here.


Canadian Wood Packaging Certification Program (CWPCP)

Wood packaging materials are essential for trade and the transport and protection of freight and containerized products. This packaging may accompany various items and constitute a wide group of products including pallets, levelling shims, boxes, wood crates, blocks, barrels, load boards, pallet collars and skids. In the past, these products were generally made of non-manufactured wood that was not sufficiently processed or treated to kill or eradicate any pests present in the untreated wood.

In March 2002, as part of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), an International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures on Wood Packaging (ISPM No. 15), entitled Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade was adopted. To address the phytosanitary risk associated with wood packaging materials, the standard recommends that all wood packaging materials be treated.

The CWPCP is a certification system that enables Canadian producers of wood packaging materials and wood treatment facilities to produce wood packaging that meets the requirements of ISPM No. 15. A Canadian certification mark for wood packaging materials is stamped on the finished product. This mark is unique to each registered facility.

The CFIA’s official certification stamp for wood packaging can only be applied by a facility accredited under either the CHTWPCP or CWPCP programs. These facilities can also issue heat-treatment (HT) certificates.

To be accredited, facilities must call upon the services of a supplier authorized by the CFIA. The QFIC and Q-WEB are recognized as service providers and can offer their members the certification of their facilities. To know more, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s web site.

Lumber exported to the United States for making American packaging material.

All Canadian lumber, either in bundles or custom cut (pre-cut) packages, exported to the U.S. to be used in a facility that produces wood packaging for export must meet the specifications of the non-manufactured wood packaging enforcement regulations of the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC).

According to ALSC’s program, all lumber (US or Canadian) entering the United States and going to a facility must be stamped HT or KD-HT under the supervision of an authorized certification body such as the QFIC. Each piece of wood in the bundle must be stamped for the purpose of identifying the grading agency, the facility’s number and the treatment received (HT or KD-HT).