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The International Standard for Wood Packaging Material

ISPM 15 pallets

If you deal with international shipping of wood that is thicker than 6mm, the International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) will apply to you. This International Phytosanitary Measure aims at preventing the spread of disease and insects internationally by means of these woods, since they may destroy other ecosystems. The measures that are part of this standard impact all ISPM 15 pallets, crates and dunnage, which now have to be debarked, fumigated or heat treated and stamped with a mark of compliance also known colloquially as the Wheat Stamp. Products that are exempted are those made of alternative materials such as plastic, paper, hardwood, ODB and plywood.

Know What ISPM Applies To


Understanding what ISPM 15 applies to and what is doesn’t apply to will help you in the running of your business and will ensure that you don’t inadvertently violate international shipping norms.

The standards apply to coniferous crude wood bundling material and non-coniferous bundling material. It also includes ISPM 15 pallets, beds, dunnage, crating, drums, pressing squares, cases, reels, spools, stack sheets, mass heads, slides and bed collars.

Some items, though, are exempt from these standards, and they include:
  • Wood bundling made of prepared wood material such as molecule boards, plywood or lacquer that has been made with paste.
  • Wood bundling made entirely out of thin wood.
  • Wine barrels that have been pre-processed.
  • Wood shavings, wood fleece and sawdust.
  • Wood segments that have been used with cargo vehicles.
  • Wine boxes and other boxes that have been made of wood that has already been treated and is bug free.

Conforming to Standards For ISPM 15 Pallets and More


Rather than finding ways to get un-processed wood packing across international borders even if you’re not sure whether the country at the other end is participating in these measures or not, the best way to handle your shipping requirements is to conform to ISPM 15 standards. Your timber bundling should meet the ISPM 15 pallets bark resilience prerequisites and its treatment should be endorsed by a certified producer.

ISPM 15 pallets


Here are some internationally accepted types of treatment for ISPM 15 pallets and other bundling.
  • Heat treatment, where the wood is treated until its core reaches 56 degrees Centigrade for at least 30 minutes. This procedure is usually carried out in heating chambers.
  • Kiln drying, where the same standards of heat treatment are followed, but with added moisture standards.
  • Mobile heat treatment, where heating chambers are installed in trucks so that the process can be handled anywhere.
  • Portable chamber process, where portable chambers of thermal fabric are used to carry out heat treatment. Costs are usually lower with this treatment and can be done anywhere.
  • Fast container connector, where a mobile heating unit with containers can handle heat treatment directly. This is ideal for terminals and ports.
  • Methyl bromide, where an area is filled with methyl bromide which is a gaseous pesticide and the wood is treated.
  • Container fumigation, where the wooden packaging is placed in a container that is filled with methyl bromide for 24-hour quarantine. The container is then aerated before the wood is released.
  • Tent fumigation, where a tent is used to cover the wooden ISPM 15 pallets, and is sealed to the ground using weights. The tent is then filled with methyl bromide and quarantined for 24 hours before the cargo is released.

Ensuring that ISPM 15 pallets, crates and all other wooden packaging material meets specified standards is vital. These measures were taken based on the fact that transference between ecosystems can prove detrimental. Therefore, following these laws can add to the conservation of our planet, while keeping in line with international laws. 

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