ISPM 15 stands for the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No.15. They are a set of regulations which were set up to help prevent the spread of pests and diseases through the use of wood in packaging materials used in international trade. ISPM 15 states a set of criteria that must be met when using any wood as packaging, such as a box, crate, pallet, dunnage or drums when shipping products internationally.
The regulations require that all non-exempt wood packaging material, (be it hardwood or softwood), must be heat treated to the core for 30 minutes at 56 degrees Celsius or be fumigated with Methyl Bromide. Only then may the quality treatment mark be applied, but only by a business which has been previously approved by an accredited inspection agency.
All wood used for wood packaging materials needs to be debarked before being fumigated or heat treated. This is to prevent the wood becoming re-infested with pests while it is waiting to be made into packaging, or even after manufacture. Once the wood packaging material has been treated and the quality mark applied, it does not require any further treatment, unless it is repaired or becomes re-infested.
Why ISPM 15?
Numerous countries around the world were becoming concerned about the global spread of timber-based diseases and pests. Consequently, ISPM 15 was developed to prevent any further spread of timber based pests or diseases which could negatively affect another country’s plants or ecosystems. The ISPM 15 is not compulsory, but many of the leading countries involved with international trade have adopted it, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Click here, for a full list of countries who have adopted the regulations.
Who Developed It?
The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) developed the ISPM 15 in response to the global threat of the wide spread transportation of timber pests and diseases. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FOA) administers the IPPC, which is an international treaty implemented by subscribing governments worldwide.
What Wood Packaging Does ISPM 15 Affect?
The wood packaging affected by ISPM 15 includes hardwood (non-coniferous) and softwood (coniferous) wood. However, there are some wood packaging materials which are exempted because they are considered low risk. These include:
- sawdust, wood wool and wood shavings
- wood packaging manufactured with completely processed wood material
- wood packaging that is 6mm or less in thickness
- veneer peeler core
- gift boxes that have made with processed wood
- barrels that have been heat treated which contain wine or spirits
Popular ISPM 15 Exempt Material Handling Options
Plastic pallets, like our Corona 48×40, made from recycled resins are an excellent cost competitive alternative to wood pallets when shipping overseas. See our range of plastic pallets for shipping and export.
If you prefer not having to deal with ISPM 15 requirements and would like less delays and happier customers down the supply chain then please contact us.
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