The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) says it is re-enforcing the use of Solid Wood Packaging Materials (SWPM) such as crates, boxes, dunnages for containerised cargoes imported into the country.
NPQS Spokesman, Dr Gozie Nwodo, said in a statement that all SWPM must be accompanied with import permit from the Service.
The Federal Government had relaxed the rule on palletisation policy in February 2018, but urged importers to comply with international standards and stacking prescription by original manufacturers of products.
Dunnages are loose materials used to support and protect cargo in ship’s hold.
The official however explained that, NAQS came up with SWPM following several queries and complaints from importers, exporters and other stakeholders regarding the issue of packaging materials for shipping.
“NAQS came up with SWPM because of the potential of serving as pathways for pests and diseases that can endanger the nation’s agricultural economy.
“All importation of SWPM must be accompanied with import permit from NAQS or must have been treated and the treatment given stated on theInternational Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) markings and logo, ” Nwodo said.
According to him, all treated SWPM imported into Nigeria should carry IPPC marking or logo, stating the type of treatment administered (Methyl Bromide or Heat Treatment).
Nwodo said that already imported SWPM should be re-treated if to be either reused or recycled.
He, however, urged importers and exporters to contact NAQS for proper guidance.