ISPM15 is a common term in both the pallet and logistics industries. This standard for wooden products is being progressively implemented around the world, but many are yet to discover what this entails and why it’s so important.
What is ISPM15?
There is a risk of introducing and spreading pests and diseases through the transportation of goods, via infested wooden packaging materials.
To combat this, the IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) developed ISPM15, to address the need of heat treating wooden materials that are used to ship products between countries, which hopes to prevent the international transportation of diseases and insects.
Many countries around the world have adopted the ISPM15 regulations for solid wood packing – which includes pallets, crates and dunnages – since its introduction in 2001. Despite its implementation date being almost 18 years ago, there are still countries around the world that are now only just adopting this requirement.
Its requirements are different in every country, so when exporting, it’s really important to be aware of those countries specific guidelines as they may be different from the requirements you currently adhere to. However, in this piece, we’ve outlined the basic requirements.
What’s the purpose of ISPM15?
The main purpose of ISPM15 is to prevent the spread of harmful diseases and insects between countries, which have the potential to devastate ecosystems. By ensuring proper heat treatment to any wooden materials that leave the country – whether by boat, plane or lorry – this will limit the spread of pests and diseases.
Materials requiring and excluded from regulations
Any solid wood material that has a thickness of 6mm or more must be heat treated.
Solid wood pallets are the obvious in terms of what needs to be treated, as well as other transportation products including; pallet collars, reels and crates. Note: only solid wood packaging produced by countries that adhere to IPPC guidelines, must adhere to ISPM15 requirements.
So, what’s exempt?
Materials including plastic, paper, metal and engineered wood products do not have to meet ISPM15 requirements. You can view the full list of exemptions here.
All wooden packaging material, including dunnage, must be heat treated whether they are brand new, repaired or remanufactured.
The Forestry Commission states that “this should be in accordance with a specific time-temperature schedule that achieves a minimum temperature of 56°C for a minimum duration of 30 continuous minutes throughout the entire profile of the wood (including the core).”
Once treated, each item is stamped with the ISPM15 mark, like the one shown below.
At PR Pallets, we have the necessary international certification to heat treat any pallet or timber that you require for export. We will provide documentary evidence (the ISPM15 certificate) with any export order. Find out more about our heat treating services here.
For more information regarding ISPM15, visit the Forestry Commission’s website, or contact PR Pallets for expert advice where one of the team will happily assist you, 01992 761 116.