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Compliance of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures - Customs Circular No. 13/2011
March, 01st 2011

Circular No. 13/ 2011-Customs



Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise & Customs

229 A, North Block,

New Delhi-110001

28th February, 2011.



All Chief Commissioners of Customs / Customs (Prev.).

All Chief Commissioners of Customs & Central Excise.

All Commissioners of Customs / Customs (Prev.).

All Commissioners of Customs & Central Excise.

The Director General of Revenue Intelligence.

The Director General of Central Excise Intelligence.

The Director General, NACEN




Subject: Compliance of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM-15) in respect of wood packaging material by exporters regarding.


Sir / Madam,



            Attention is invited to the provisions of Plant Quarantine (Import of Goods in India) Order, 2003 which outlines mandatory requirements of compliance of ISPM for imported goods. Accordingly, Board Circular No.39/2004-Customs dated 30.6.2004 and instructions dated 2.4.2009 were issued to Customs field formations to implement the provisions of ISPM compliance.


2.         ISPM is International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures as per IPPC convention of FAO to reduce the risk of introduction / or spread of quarantine pest associated with wood packaging material (including dunnage) made of coniferous and non coniferous raw wood, in use in international trade.


3.         However, on export side, a large number of export consignments are intercepted by importing countries for non-compliance of ISPM-15 Standards relating to wood packaging materials used for export of materials. It has also been reported by Department of Agriculture and Co- operation that they are receiving numerous notifications regarding interception of consignments due to non-compliance of ISPM-15 standards in respect of export consignments.


4.         The  DGFT, vide the Notification No 54/2009-2014  dated 3.8.2010  has made it mandatory that export of goods including plant and plant products using wood packaging materials such as pallet, dunnage, crating, packing blocks, drums, cases load boards, pellet collars shall be allowed subject to compliance of ISPM-15.


5.         Considering that the large number of agricultural consignments are rejected being non-compliant with international standards and also mandatory requirements of the Notification No.54/2009-2014 dated 3.8.2010 issued by DGFT, it is decided by the Board that all consignments of export packed with wood packaging materials should be allowed clearance only if the wood packaging materials conform to requirements of ISPM-15. The export / imported consignment with wood packaging material are to be inspected by Customs. If any export / imported consignment is found without ISPM-15 mark or with doubtful marking, it should be reported to Plant Quarantine Officer / authorities for taking necessary action. 


6.         Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation has also reported that all the agencies authorized to provide ISPM Certification on wood packaging material have been duly accredited by Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage.  These agencies issue ISPM-15 certification after providing treatment with Methyl Bromide or Forced Hot Air as per prescribed norms.  The list of these accredited treatment providers of Methyl Bromide and Forced Hot Air are available on the Directorates website It is also clarified that exporters should specifically indicate in the Shipping Bill filed for export, the description of packaging material so as to ensure whether any consignment with wooden packaging material warrants mandatory compliance with ISPM-15 standards or not.


7.         Board desires that the Customs staff posted at different ports and airports are trained in respect of inspection of wood packaging material for ISPM-15 compliance in respect of export / imported consignments. The periodical training programme should be imparted by NACEN in coordination with Plant Protection Advisor, Faridabad.


8.         Suitable trade notice / standing order may be issued to guide the trade and industry.


9.         Difficulty, if any, faced in implementation of these instructions may be brought to the notice of the undersigned.


Yours faithfully,


( G.S. Sinha )

OSD (Customs IV)

Internal circulation:  As usual.


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