Especially Important Now

There are strict regulations on wood products and wood packing materials (WPM) issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). They are called “The Bug Stamp.”

NECS has included details on “The Bug Stamp” here for your convenience. Remember, this is not an airline transport ruling, but a USDA and APHIS regulation.

The ‘Bug Stamp’ Is A Legal Requirement

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have set up import regulations for wood packaging materials (WPM). It went into effect and was posted in the Federal Register in 2004. It is a legal requirement, worldwide.

Today, there are 55 countries participating in the program with more signing on every year – now including the European Union, Australia and most of South America.

The Basic Requirements

WPM used in international trade MUST be treated to kill harmful insects that may be present. All treated WPM must be marked with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) logo – “The Bug Stamp.”  Air Trays, Combination Trays and Overseas Shippers are considered Wood Packaging Materials (WPM).

Below is an example of this International Logo:


The regulation is broad and restricts the export and import of many wood articles, including wooden packaging, pallets, crates, boxes, and pieces of wood used to support or brace cargo. However, regulated WPM does not include any manufactured items, such as worked wood items. Wooden Caskets are considered worked wood items.

Improper Shipments Will Be Returned

When the regulation for WPM is enforced to its fullest, a human remains shipment sent to one of the participating countries in any shipping container that does NOT carry the international STAMP will be refused and sent back to the sender.

Countries Currently Requiring “The Bug Stamp”

Argentina Ecuador Korea Portugal
Australia Egypt Latvia San Marino
Austria Estonia Lebanon Slovakia
Belgium Finland Lithuania Slovenia
Bolivia France Luxembourg South Africa
Brazil Germany Malta Spain
Canada Greece Mexico Sweden
Chile Guatemala Monaco Trinidad and Tobago
China Hungary Netherlands Turkey
Colombia India New Zealand United Kingdom
Costa Rica Ireland Nigeria Vatican City State
Cyprus Italy Peru Venezuela
Czech Republic Jordon Philippines Vietnam
Denmark Kenya Poland