Shipborne dunnage is a major pathway for the introduction of forest pests in Canada. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has been working for many years to find an efficient, safe, and applicable management program for shipborne dunnage.
Shipborne dunnage is a type of wood packaging material (WPM) used in marine vessels to stabilize or brace cargo during ocean transport. Like other types of WPM, dunnage is generally made from low quality wood that is more likely to be infested with forest pests than the wood used for other forest products (for example lumber or sawn wood). Upon arrival of a ship in the port, the cargo is discharged, and the dunnage is then separated from the cargo and is often left at the port and treated as waste material. The origin of the cargo and the origin of the dunnage are not always the same, so the risk and types of potentially harmful pests that could be introduced through this pathway cannot be consistently known with any certainty.
The CFIA launched an international and national consultation in December 2020 with a risk management document (RMD 20-02) that outlined 4 shipborne dunnage management options. The recommended option, which received the majority of the support during the consultation, is the selected option. It combines robust forest pest mitigation measures with a flexible and easy-to-apply approach that also promotes and encourages the use of ISPM 15 compliant material.
The CFIA will be implementing option 4, as proposed with some improvements that were received during the consultation. The implementation of option 4 will require the relevant plant health directive (D-98-08) be amended to incorporate the new shipborne dunnage program, which will include a national and international consultation period.
The effectiveness of the selected option will be assessed over the next several years. The CFIA is moving in a graduated direction that will permit ISPM 15 compliant dunnage to enter Canada without restrictions.
D-98-08: Entry Requirements for Wood Packaging Material into Canada which covers shipborne dunnage in section 4.1 will be updated accordingly.