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CBP & CBSA Remind Travelers to Leave Firewood at Home

Release Date: 
July 1, 2011

Pembina, N.D. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection wants to prevent the entry of unwanted guests, especially the six-legged kind. Therefore, during this upcoming summer vacation season, CBP wants to remind southbound travelers to leave their firewood at home.

In addition to the U.S. firewood importations restrictions, Canada Border Services Agency also warns northbound travelers that importing firewood from the United States is restricted or prohibited and must meet strict requirements. The emerald ash borer has been recently confirmed in Minnesota and efforts are underway to slow the spread of this highly destructive insect. But the U.S. is finding that inspection is not enough. Both commercial and noncommercial shipments of softwood and hardwood firewood must be accompanied by either a treatment certificate issued by a treatment facility or an attached treatment label. Without this proof of treatment, travelers will be turned back to Canada to dispose of their firewood.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a new updated federal order to safeguard and ensure that hardwood firewood entering the U.S. from Canada has been heat treated at 60° centigrade (minimal core temperature) for 60 minutes in accordance with Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, 319.40-7(c). In addition, the federal order will require that all softwood firewood being imported from Canada and spruce logs imported from Nova Scotia, Canada be heat treated at 56º centigrade (minimal core temperature) for 30 minutes.

CBP is currently enforcing the APHIS order by continuing to carefully inspect shipments of firewood and informing travelers of the new U.S. regulatory requirement. If CBP finds signs of a pest infestation, travelers will be turned back to dispose of the firewood. CBP is fully enforcing the APHIS order for non-commercial shipments and only firewood that has proof of treatment will be allowed into the U.S.

This regulatory requirement is necessary to protect U.S. forests from certain pests of softwood and hardwood that are present in Canada. These pests include the pine shoot beetle, brown spruce longhorn beetle, European spruce bark beetle, Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer and gypsy moth. These and other insect pests pose a serious threat to softwood and hardwood trees and have no known natural predator in the U.S.

If these pests are allowed to become established and to spread, they have the potential of destroying millions of acres of America's treasured hardwoods, including national forests and backyard trees. An Asian longhorned beetle eradication effort in the areas where the pest has become established has cost the U.S. in excess of $269 million. Without these eradication efforts, the Asian longhorned beetle has the potential to damage such industries as lumber, maple syrup, nursery, and tourism accumulating more than $41 billion in losses according to APHIS.

For additional information regarding the federal order, please contact John T. Jones with APHIS, at (301) 734-8262. For more information on Canada's efforts, please call (866) 463-6017.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017