Research by EM Technologies Ltd (Emitech) aims to establish whether microwave treatment is effective in reducing the risk of quarantine pests associated with wood packaging, its environmental impact and how technically and commercially feasible it is likely to be.

Tests were carried out on nine standard pallets and the results are proving extremely successful, with costs working out at around €0.12 per pallet. TIMCON, the Timber Packaging and Pallet Confederation, said further tests are to be carried out.

Meanwhile, China’s State Quarantine Inspection Service has published “Official Notice No 2” confirming that it now accepts ISPM15 compliant and marked wood packaging material without a phytosanitary certificate.

TIMCON believes it will take a while for all port officials to become familiar with the rule change, which came into force on January 1, and that some exporters will have concerns about clearance of their shipments without a phytosanitary certificate.

The Forestry Commission is to continue issuing certificates when requested, and TIMCON said it would keep the matter under review and would appreciate feedback from exporters.