Mexico has recently stepped-up enforcement of its phytosanitary regulations, which has caused much confusion. According to APHIS, the following interim measures have been agreed upon between the USDA APHIS and the SEMARNAT (Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources) until a Work Plan is signed.
- Lumber shipments travelling under SEMARNAT import permits, issued prior to July 2, 2013 will be allowed entry based on current regulations, regardless of arrival date.
- Lumber shipments travelling under SEMARNAT import permits, issued after July 2, 2013 will be required to meet the new NOM 16" regulations.
- A phytosanitary certificate will be required.
- The treatment will be documented in the treatment section, and
- The additional declaration, "The lumber of this consignment has no bark, it has been subjected to phytosanitary treatment, and is free of quarantine pests within accordance to NOM 16", will be added.
Industry certificates will be accepted by ACOs for proof of treatment so phytosanitary certificates may be issued and "no bark" will require a shipment to possess no more than 2% bark for approval.
U.S exporters can keep track of any updates on the issues through the Mexico page of the USDA "Phytosanitary Export Database" (PExD) which can be accessed through the "Phytosnitary Certificate Issuing and Tracking System" (PCIT) on the USDA website.
The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is working with the Mexican Forest Products Import/Export Association (IMEXFOR) to clarify the situation. AHEC is also engaging importers and furniture manufacturers in Mexico to be sure they understand what strict interpretation of this regulation will do to their supplies and costs; with an urge to make their concerns known to the Mexican government.
For further information please contact John Tyrone Jones, II, Trade Director Forestry Products (USDA; APHIS; PPQ; PIM) at 301-851-2344 or Mike Snow Executive Director AHEC at 703-435-2900ext 114.