On 1st February 2016, a new regulation issued by the Ministry of Agriculture (IN 32/2015) will come into force, aiming to regulate the procedures for the control and phytosanitary certification of wood packaging material for import and export cargoes. The main purpose of such regulation is to avoid the dissemination of pests and plagues arising out of importation of wood and any wooden materials used as package and for the stowing of cargo inside a container.

According to the referred IN 32/2015, the shipper has to declare the existence of wooden materials to the federal authorities in charge of the cargo inspection, providing all the necessary information regarding the treatment and certification of the wood. Moreover, the port operator, the harbor manager and the carrier may be held co-responsible to provide the necessary information regarding the transported goods.

If the wooden material does not comply with the international standards for certification of the wooden materials, as provided in the International Plant Protection Convention – IPPC, the federal inspection can withhold the goods as well as determine the necessary sanitary measures for the mitigation of the risk of plague dissemination. In case any phytosanitary measure is needed, the costs incurred with such procedure can be charged from the shipper/importer and may even be applied to the port operator or the carrier, as well as the adoption of phytosanitary measures imposed by the authorities in charge.

In view of the above, we advise all parties involved in the international commerce to become aware of the possible implications of this new regulation, as well as to duly inform their commercial partners, clients, shippers and consignees of the new request from the Ministry of Agriculture, so that the necessary information regarding the wooden materials to be transported can be provided accordingly. This measure is also important to safeguard a potential right of redress against the party who does not comply with such Normative Instruction.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.