Home > Newsletter Archives > Vol: 12/05/2016

  • Merry Christmas

    Our offices will be closed on the following dates so we can spend time with our families during the Christmas and the New Year holidays.

    December 23rd - 26th 

    December 30th - January 2nd 

    We want to wish everyone a very safe and blessed Christmas and all the best in 2017!

  • What Happens When ALSC Visits

    The American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) is empowered by the USDA to be the oversight authority for the ISPM 15 program in the United States.  ALSC accredits agencies like Timber Products Inspection (TP) to perform the field monitoring at facilities and ALSC employs its own staff of inspectors to monitor agencies to ensure they are enforcing the regulations at operations under their care. In other words, when ALSC makes an inspection at your facility they are checking to see that TP is properly monitoring your facility.  For this reason, they should be given the same access to your facility records and operations that we are given. 

    When ALSC visits a facility, onsite personnel (the QC person and their backup) should understand their needs will be the same as TP's and they should be given access to your QC procedures (also known as your "Process"), shipping and receiving records and heat chamber records if applicable.  Just like TP, they will also look at your operations including:

    • Received HT lumber for proper marking and separation.
    • Heat chambers for proper implementation.
    • IPPC and HT facility marked material for conformance (bark w/ IPPC, mark legibility, etc.).
    • Proper segregation of HT & non-HT material.
    • Obliteration.

    The above is a very general list and depending on your situation there may be additional areas of review.  If ALSC does not observe any non-conforming issues, they will complete their report and leave.  If there is an issue, they will document the non-conformance and request any related material be either quarantined or held.  ALSC will then notify TP of their findings so we can follow up with the facility on the issue. Facilities found non-conforming are placed on a "Recall List" and another visit will be scheduled by ALSC to ensure the non-conforming issue has been corrected and the related process modified to prevent future issues.  If a non-conformance is directly related to WPM product and a facility disagrees with the ALSC finding, it is the facility's right to respectfully disagree. The non-conforming WPM in question should then be uniquely marked with ALSC present, segregated and TP notified so we can review the material with the facility and advise ALSC of our findings.

    TP has a strong working relationship with ALSC management and it is best to get clarifications and answers to your ISPM 15 questions from your TP inspector or our office.  Many times if an ALSC inspector is asked a question he will actually refer you to TP for more information.  TP is always happy to address any questions a facility has regarding the ISPM 15 program.  Please offer ALSC every professional courtesy possible when they visit your facility.