ISPM 15 and Solid Wood Shipping Requirements

Because the process of manufacturing engineered wood destroys any live organisms in the wood, Engineered wood packaging materials are exempt from ISPM 15: International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, adopted by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The IPPC is an international treaty to secure action to prevent the spread and introduction of pests of plants and plant products, and to promote appropriate measures for their control. Under this standard, solid wood packaging materials are required to be either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide. A total of 134 nations will eventually implement ISPM 15 regulations regarding the importation of solid wood packaging materials. 

Consider the hurdles that solid wood packaging materials must clear before gaining entry into an ISPM 15 restricted destination. Shippers are responsible for assuring that the product is properly treated and stamped accordingly. Pallets must be clearly marked with the country of origin, type of treatment, and the registration number of approved wood processor. In some cases additional paperwork may be required.

Because engineered wood pallets are exempt from ISPM 15, they do not require the markings or paperwork typically necessary for solid wood pallets that are being shipped into an ISPM 15 restricted destination. For additional information about solid wood packaging restrictions, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website.

APA tracks problems associated with the acceptance of engineered wood pallets in ports of entry all over the world. If you need additional assistance, or if you experience any difficulty getting your engineered wood packaging materials through customs, please contact the APA International Division.

Treatment and Solid Wood Pallets

The ISPM 15 standard specifies that solid wood pallets be either heat treated (heating to a core temperature of 56 degrees C for 30 minutes) or fumigated with methyl bromide. Methyl bromide is one of the substances targeted for elimination by the EPA because of its effect on the ozone layer. How long this chemical will remain as an approved fumigant is anyone's guess.

Debarking and Solid Wood Pallets

Yet another potential snare for the solid wood shipper is a debarking requirement included in the 2009 revision of ISPM 15: irrespective of the type of treatment applied, wood packaging material must be made of debarked wood. Debarking further reduces the likelihood of reinfestation by pests. This requirement may be enforced in various ports of entry, regardless of whether the solid wood pallets in question are heat treated or fumigated.

APA talked with one of the largest automotive parts manufacturers in the world after they conducted a random audit at one of their plants. The company noted at least a third of the pallets in the plant had bark. Exemption from debarking requirements, along with all of the restrictions related to shipping solid wood packaging materials internationally in accordance with ISPM 15, is a significant reason to choose engineered wood pallets for your materials handling and shipping needs.

Back to Pallets Home