APHIS Makes Import Guidance for Wood and Wood Products Easier to Find and Understand

On December 14, 2017, APHIS published the revised Wood and Wood Products section of the Miscellaneous and Processed Product Manual (MPPM).  This major update does not change APHIS’ import requirements for wood and wood products; it simply makes them easier to find and understand. Specific changes include:

  • Reorganizing requirements into subsections, such as wood products from Canada or wood packaging material
  • Placing information in shorter tables, making it easier for the user to follow a decision pathway
  • Removing redundant language that is provided directly to importers on their permits, helping to reduce the wood and wood product section’s overall length by 50%
  • Identifying and eliminating decision “dead ends” which left users without final, clear direction
  • Creating a new section in the manual that provides clear guidance for importing handicrafts, including wooden handicrafts

These improvements will make it easier for importers to navigate the guidance and comply with APHIS requirements, which, in turn, will facilitate movement of wood and wood products through ports of entry.

This revision is part of a larger 18-month effort to clarify agency guidance and improve communication with both APHIS stakeholders and U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors on wood and wood product requirements. Through this effort, APHIS also produced the Wooden Handicraft Website, which provides detailed, easy-to-understand guidance for importing wooden handicrafts into the United States.

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