In 2005, the United States, in cooperation with Mexico and Canada, created international phytosanitary standards for regulated wood packaging material (WPM)* entering North America. This regulation requires that WPM display a visible, legible, and permanent mark certifying treatment to protect from wood-boring pests, which cause significant risks to U.S. agriculture.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is now actively enforcing the WPM standards and assessing fees to rail carriers for noncompliance. Union Pacific's plan going forward is to pass these fees, which are up to $100,000 per incident, on to the appropriate customers.
For additional information, please see the following CBP documents:
- Liquidated Damages and Penalties on Wood Packing Material (PDF File)
- Wood Packing Material Frequently Asked Questions (PDF File)
*Most wood packaging materials are covered by the rule including wooden packaging materials such as pallets, crates, boxes, and pieces of wood used to support or brace cargo. These materials are currently referred to as solid wood packing material (SWPM), which is defined as "wood packing materials other than loose wood packing materials, used or for use with cargo to prevent damage, including, but not limited to, dunnage, crating, pallets, packing blocks, drums, cases, and skids."