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2 March 2012
The Timber Packaging & Pallet Confederation (TIMCON) says it is working closely with FEFPEB (the European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers) to liaise with the consultants appointed by the European Commission to assess the potential impact of extending its ISPM 15 regime.
The EC is considering increasing ISPM 15 to include all movements of wooden packaging material within the EU. Current requirements are limited to movements into the EU or out of Portugal, a known pinewood nematode area.
John Dye, president of TIMCON said: "As a leading member of FEFPEB, we will be submitting data and commentary on behalf of the UK pallet and packaging industry. This study will have an important bearing on the EC’s decision on whether or not to extend ISPM 15 for wooden packaging material – and could lead to fundamental changes in the regulations it applies to the industry.
"If these changes take place, there are major implications – not only for the European pallet and packaging industry, but for the entire European forest-based sector. We are fully supportive of measures to protect European forest as they provide our essential raw material. However, if the current regulations are to be extended, we want to ensure that: they are scientifically justified; the industry has sufficient time to extend its heat treatment capacity; and the requirement for repairs is practical and achievable.
"Examining the terms of reference for this study, we are confident the EC appreciates the essential role of timber pallets and packaging play in maintaining EU trade flows. The options under consideration are realistic and, if implemented, should facilitate the smooth continuation of this essential role.
"TIMCON is working with the Forestry Commission and sawmilling organisations at home, and with FEFPEB in Europe to represent the interests of the UK industry. We are keeping members informed about developments."