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New deadline set for wood-packaging regulation

The Ministry of Agriculture has extended the deadline for the enforcement of the adopted International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) regulations ISPM#15, for solid-wood packaging material in international trade. The new date is March 1, 2011.

The original date of enforcement was January 1, 2011. “This grace period is to allow for the information to be circulated among all players involved in trade,” Fitzroy White, senior plant quarantine/SPS enquiry point officer said. He was speaking at the Shipping Association of Jamaica’s Lunch and Learn Seminar held last Wednesday. The seminar was sponsored by Seafreight Jamaica.

According to White, the World Trade Organisation states that the country implementing the regulation should give the world six months to comply. Sensitisation seminars for the enforcement of the regulation, began in August last year. However, some players have indicated that they were only recently made aware of the new regulation.

Regulation states:

The regulation states that all raw-wood packaging materials entering Jamaica are to be treated and marked in accordance with the requirements of ISPM 15.

The mark should at minimum include:


Markings should be:

  • According to model shown in figure
  • Legible
  • Permanent and not transferable
  • Placed in a visible location, preferably on at least two opposite sides of the article being certified.


Regulation Covers

The regulation covers: pallets, dunnage, crating, packing blocks, drums, cases, load boards, pallet collars and skids which can be present in almost any imported or exported consignment. However, it excludes wood packaging made wholly of wood-based products such as plywood, plastic board, oriented strand board or veneer that has been created using glue, heat and pressure or a combination thereof.

Measures for Non-Compliance

Where wood-packaging material does not carry the required mark, action may be taken, unless other bilateral arrangements are in place. This action may take the form of:

  1. Treatment
  2. Disposal
  3. Refusal of entry
  4. Risk-management options


Disposal of wood-packaging material is a risk-management option that may be used by the National Plant Protection Organization of the importing country, upon arrival of wood-packaging material, where treatment is not available or desirable.

Recommended methods:

  • Incineration
  • Burial
  • Other methods (re-export)


The United States-based SeaFreight Line represented in Jamaica by Lannaman and Morris Shipping Limited, has been providing ocean transportation services for over 18 years and currently operates 6 x 1,100 TEU and 2 x 500 TEU vessels between Florida, the Caribbean, South America and Central American.

In addition to the two new markets of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the carrier already offers weekly fixed-day service between Jacksonville and Port Everglades and Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, Curaçao, Grand Cayman, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Kingston, Montego Bay, La Guaira, Margarita (El Guamache), Panama, St Lucia, St Vincent, Suriname and Trinidad. The carrier offers various sizes of dry and refrigerated containers as well as break bulk acceptance on cargo such as boats, vehicles, machinery, among others, on flat racks.

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BSc in customs processes and immigration for May

The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) will commence its offering of a bachelor of science degree (BSc) in customs processes and immigration this May.

This is in keeping with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by CMI, Jamaica Customs Department and three customs brokerage associations – the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of Jamaica (CBFFAJ), Caribbean Customs Brokers Association and the Jamaica Society of Customs Brokers (JSCB).

The MoU was inked last October during the 40th annual general meeting and conference of the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA). The course was developed on the recommendation of Roger Hinds, president of the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ).

Designed in collaboration with members of the industry, including the signatories to the MoU and the Port Authority of Jamaica – immigration and quarantine departments, the programme is tailored to meet the needs of the shipping industry. It covers border protection for both air and sea, and addresses the global needs of international trade. “It will be the platform for entry and progress in the industry,” the CMI said.

Specialised nature

Hinds said he was elated that the course was designed and is now ready for offering in such a short period. “The reality is, this industry needs individuals who understand the intricacies of its operations. This new degree programme has been designed to prepare graduates to move from the classroom to the ports of entry,” Hinds said.

Fritz Pinnock, executive director of CMI said, “The CMI brands itself as producing industry-ready graduates. We are working with the industry to find out what the needs are to design programmes to meet these needs.”

He pointed out that the BSc in customs processes and Immigration was developed due to the specialised nature of the shipping industry.

“I want to salute the key drivers – president of the SAJ, Roger Hinds; Commissioner of Customs Danville Walker; chief executive officer of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency, Jennifer McDonald; president of the CBFFAJ, Donovan Wignal, and president of the JSCB, Junior Waugh.

The new degree programme underpins the CMI’s Blue Ocean Strategy of producing industry-ready, disciplined graduates, as well as working in partnership with the industry to ensure courses are relevant and lead to clearly defined career pathways that are in demand.

Two entry requirements have been designed for applicants. Individuals new to the industry must have attained at least five subjects at the Caribbean Secondary School Examination or General Certificate of Examination level, inclusive of English language. Option two is designed for individuals who have at least three years experience at a supervisory level in the industry.

The CMI is now accepting applications. Registration begins on May 2. Classes are scheduled for Monday-Thursday 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Plans are in place to extend the course to Montego Bay by September, with registration commencing in July.

The course has been endorsed by the CSA, the US Customs and Border Protection, and Caricom/United Nations’ 1540 resolution.

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