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Raw wood ban on Chinese imports

In an effort to eliminate infestations of the Asian longhorn beetle, which have devastated trees in various parts of the U.S., USDA and the Commerce Department have banned all forms of raw-wood packaging from China.

This is how the beetles are believed to be entering the country. The ban, which took effect January 1, 1999, requires Chinese exporters to certify that either the packaging contains no wood or the wood has been treated to destroy the beetles and their larvae. An estimated 30 to 50% of Chinese exporters will be affected by the new regulation. The U.S. Customs Service will spend an extra $2.4 million to enforce the ban, but only will be able to check a maximum of 2% of the containers arriving in the U.S. Shipments containing the outlawed packaging will be returned, or the owner may have the wood chipped and burned as inspectors watch.

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