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Why do we use ISPM15 pallets?

What is ISPM15?

The International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures, publication number 15 – Regulation of wood packaging material (WPM) in international trade. All products that we ship on wooden pallets are ISPM15 heat-treated.

Why ISPM15?

The regulations are to help prevent the worldwide spread of plant pests and diseases by using specially treated wooden packaging material (WPM).

Who controls ISPM15?

As part of the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) controls the regulations through the cooperation of member governments of the UN.

What is classed as WPM?

ISPM15 applies to coniferous softwood and non-coniferous hardwood used as raw wood packaging material. The standard does not apply to wood packaging made wholly of manufactured wood-based products such as plywood and veneer, reconstituted wood products (particle board, chipboard, Presswood, oriented strand board, high density fibre board, and medium density fibre board) or products created using glue, heat and pressure or a combination thereof.

How can you tell if WPM has been treated?

All treated WPM will have the IPPC mark, as shown below:


What do the markings indicate?

The markings must be within a rectangular border with a vertical line separating the IPPC logo (on the left) from the identifying data.

The border lines may be solid or broken; and the corners may be rounded.
XX – indicates a two letter ISO country code
0000 – the next series of letters/numbers is the unique identification mark of the wood treatment agent or packaging manufacturer. The number of letters or digits may vary according to each country.
The country code and treatment agent or manufacturer code must be separated by a hyphen.
YY – This indicates the type of treatment, and will either be HT (Heat Treatment) or MB (Methyl Bromide).

ISPM15 Requirements

Compliance with ISPM-15 fumigation and stamp services for wood packaging allows for 2 treatment options:

  • Heat Treatment (HT):
    Wood packaging material should be heated in a schedule that achieves a minimum core temperature of 56 C or 133 F degrees for 30 minutes. Once certified, businesses that do not utilize a kiln on-site may use KD-HT kiln-dried heat-treated lumber for their crating and/or packaging needs. KD-HT material can be purchased at most local lumber retailers.
  • Methyl Bromide (MB) ISPM 15 Fumigation:
    The wood packaging material should be fumigated with methyl bromide. NWPCA has been tasked by the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to administer the fumigation program. ISPM 15 fumigation requirements apply to all species of coniferous (softwood) and non-coniferous (hardwood) packaging materials.

Heat Treatment Certification

The American Lumber Standard Committee accredits companies, such as Packaging Research Laboratory (PRL),  to provide an ISPM 15 stamp for all  international shipping needs. Their services ensure that wood packaging products comply with international standards under ISPM 15 regulations.