As of July 1, a phytosanitary certificate will be required for all exports of sawn wood products entering Mexico from the U.S. or Canada.

The new phytosanitary certification will be in addition to documentation required for export to Mexico export, which may include:   KD or HT certificate, bill of lading, plus mill tally and invoice.  This applies to all softwood or hardwood sawn products whether shipped kiln dried, air dried, wet or green. Click here to review the official Mexican Standard NOM-016 (SEMARNAT 2013) that regulates sawn wood imports.

Authorized USDA or state cooperator inspectors must physically inspect the lumber before the mill can apply for an electronic phytosanitary certificate.  USDA now uses the online Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance and Tracking System (PCIT) to issue and track phytosanitary certificates.
In order to access the system, users apply for a Level 1 eAuthentication account; click here for the Industry Users Quick Reference Guide.  Users then receive an e-mail to activate the account and register with the PCIT system.  When inspection is needed, users enter an application for a phytosanitary certificate in the PCIT system and schedule an inspection.  Once the inspection is complete, the phytosanitary certificate is issued electronically.

In the process of revising its phytosanitary rules (NOM-16), Mexican officials had originally proposed to bar importation of any sawn lumber 45 days after kiln-drying.  That provision was dropped thanks to intervention on the part of SFPA and the Softwood Export Council and cooperation between the USDA Agricultural Trade Office in Mexico City and the Agricultural Attache´ in the US Mexican Embassy.

Efforts by the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA)  to streamline the phytosanitary inspection procedure for softwood lumber exports continue to move forward.  The USDA APHIS is working with SFPA and others on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that grants grading agencies the inspection authority to verify required lumber moisture content, and then issue a certificate to USDA.
“APHIS has been a good partner, meeting with manufacturers to address any questions, and have kept us informed on their progress,” says Richard Kleiner, SFPA’s senior director of international and treated markets.  “We expect an announcement soon,” he added.

For questions and more information related to this issue, contact Richard at 504/443-4464, ext. 211, or   e-mail him at

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SFPA is a nonprofit trade association that has represented manufacturers of Southern Pine lumber since 1915. Today, SFPA is the leading source of information about Southern Pine products for design-build professionals and consumers.