Fumigation

AQIS approved non-permanent treatments will kill insects present in the timber at the time of treatment but give no protection against re-infestation.

 

Timber treated with non-permanent treatments must be packed in a container or shipped within 21 days of that treatment. The only exceptions to this timeframe are where all timber packing in the consignment:

  • is marked with ISPM 15 compliant stamps, or
  • has been treated in accordance with ISPM 15 and accompanied by an official government Phytosanitary certificate, or
  • has been treated in New Zealand.

The timeframe between treatment and containerisation or shipment in New Zealand is 3 months.  A timeframe between treatment and containerisation does not apply to consignments where all timber packing is marked with ISPM 15 compliant stamps or all timber packing has been treated in accordance with ISPM 15 and accompanied by an official government Phytosanitary certificate.

 

Fumigations with methyl bromide or sulphuryl fluoride are the only approved treatments for packed containers.  All other treatments must be applied prior to containerisation.

 

AQIS may grant quarantine clearance for timber packing and dunnage in containerised cargo on the basis of documentation.  To be eligible for documentary based quarantine clearance, every consignment must be accompanied by an acceptable packing declaration.

 

Where a packing declaration declares that timber packing has been used in a consignment and the timber is free of bark and there are no other quarantine concerns, AQIS requires acceptable documentation to accompany the consignment as validation that all timber packing in the consignment meets AQIS treatment requirements. The following types of documentation are acceptable to AQIS as validation of offshore treatments:

  • If all timber packing is marked in accordance with ISPM 15, AQIS accepts:

-     a packing declaration from a packer/supplier declaring all timber packing is marked with ISPM 15 compliant stamps, or

-     an official government Phytosanitary certificate certifying “all timber packing is marked in accordance with ISPM 15”.

  • If all timber packing has been treated in accordance with ISPM 15 but the packing is not marked in accordance with ISPM 15, AQIS only accepts official government Phytosanitary certificates certifying “all timber packing has been treated in accordance with ISPM 15” as validation for this treatment.
  • For non-ISPM 15 treatments, AQIS accepts treatment certificates from acceptable treatment providers. AQIS also accepts official government Phytosanitary certificates as validation for all treatments, provided they include details of the treatment. Appendix VII includes an example template for a fumigation treatment certificate.

 

2.         Methyl bromide fumigation (CH3Br)

Some information on the properties of methyl bromide and procedures necessary for effective fumigation are given in Appendix V.

 

Where timber used in the construction of containers and timber packing is to be fumigated with methyl bromide, fumigation must be at a concentration of 48g/m³ for 24 hours at a temperature of 21°C under normal atmospheric pressure (NAP).

 

For each 5°C the temperature is expected to fall below 21°C the fumigator must add 8g/m³ of methyl bromide.  AQIS does not allow dosage compensation for temperatures above 21°C.  AQIS does not accept treatments undertaken below 10°C.

 

For example the acceptable range at NAP is:

48 g/m³ (3lbs/1000 cu ft) for 24 hours at 21°C (70°F) or above (standard dosage)

56g/m³ (3.5 lbs/1000 cu ft) for 24 hours at 16 - 20°C

64g/m³ (4 lbs/1000 cu ft) for 24 hours at 11 - 15°C

72g/m³ (4.5 lbs/1000 cu ft) for 24 hours at 10°C

 

Methyl bromide under vacuum is acceptable if applied at:

64g/m³ for 4 hours at or above 21°C under vacuum (660mm vacuum)

64g/m³ for 5 hours at 4 - 20°C under vacuum (660mm vacuum).

 

The maximum thickness of the timber should not exceed 200mm and it should be stacked in a manner which allows adequate gas circulation between pieces.  Correct fumigation procedures must be used (see Appendix V).

 

3.         Sulphuryl fluoride (SO2F2) (Vikane®)

 

Sulphuryl fluoride is used extensively in the USA and certain other countries as a fumigant to control insect pests of timber.  It should not be used on living plants or foodstuffs.

 

However, it has an advantage over methyl bromide in that it can be used without any deleterious effects on photographic supplies, metals, electronic components, papers, leather, rubbers, plastics or wallpapers.  It could be the preferred fumigant for timber packing associated with delicate electronic equipment where rubber is used as a component.

 

Dosages: Prescribed dosages of sulphuryl fluoride for the treatment of timber packaging are:

64g/m³ (4 lb/1000 cu ft) for 16 hours at 21°C (70°F) or above

64g/m³ (4 lbs/1000 cu ft) for 24 hours at 15.5° - 20.5°C (60° - 69°F)

80g/m³ (5 lbs/1000 cu ft) for 24 hours at 10° - 15°C (50° - 59°F)

104g/m³ (6.5 lbs/1000 cu ft) for 24 hours at 4.5° - 9.5°C (40° - 49°F)

80g/m³ (5 lbs/1000 cu ft) for 32 hours at 4.5° - 9.5°C (40° - 49°F)

® Registered trade name by Dow Chemical Company.

(AQIS is in the process of assessing the efficacy data associated with this chemical and may phase out its use as a quarantine treatment.)


ISPM 15: The English language acronym for International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15: Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade. The French and Spanish language acronyms for this Standard are NIMP 15 and NIMF 15 respectively. AQIS accepts packing declarations and phytosanitary certificates that use any of these acronyms. This standard is available from the International Phytosanitary Portal at www.ippc.int