ISPM-15 & IPPC-15 Crating & Packaging

Quality Support is an industry leader in the manufacturing of wood shipping crates that meet ISPM-15 and IPPC-15 international requirements. Additionally, we can supply individual pieces of lumber that meet these requirements from our lumberyard.

About ISPM-15 & IPPC-15 Standards

The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM-15) was formed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).  The IPPC is a 1951 multilateral treaty supervised by the Food and Agriculture Organization.  The convention created the Commission on Phytosanitary measures to manage the implementation of the convention. 

The objectives of this commission are as follows:

  • Protect farmers from economically devastating pest and disease outbreaks
  • Protect the environment from the loss of species diversity
  • Protect ecosystems from the loss of viability and function as a result of pest invasions
  • Protect industries and consumers from the costs of pest control or eradication
  • Facilitate trade through international standards that regulate the safe movement of plants and plant products
  • Protect livelihoods and food security by preventing the entry and spread of new pests of plants into a country.

ISPM-15 Wood Treatment

Fundamentally, ISPM-15 seeks to impede international transport and spread of disease and insects harmful to plants and ecosystems. To achieve this, it requires that all wood packaging material be debarked and treated in one of two ways, which are:

  • Heat Treatment
  • Fumigation

In heat treatment, the key is to heat the core of the wood until it reaches 56° C for at least 30 minutes. The internationally accepted types of heat treatment include steady heat treatment, kiln-dried, mobile heat treatment, portable chamber process and fast container connector.  Fumigation treatments differ depending upon ambient temperature.  The three internationally accepted types of fumigation treatment are MB (methyl bromide), container fumigation and tent fumigation. The material that undergoes these processes is then stamped or branded with a mark of compliance, often referred to as the “bug stamp.”

ISPM-15 & IPPC-15 Wood Applications

At Quality Support, we can customize both the size and shape of our wooden shipping crates in order to meet each customer’s specific needs. We can manufacture shipping solutions that range from the size of a quarter to an oversized trailer. We serve customers in a wide range of industries, which include:

Please contact us today to find out more.

ISPM-15 Frequently Asked Questions

International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15, also known as ISPM-15, is an International Phytosanitary Measure developed by the International Plant Protection Convention, also known as IPPC, to ship products between countries.

This standard affects both wood and wooden packaging materials including:

  • Dunnage
  • Crates
  • Reels
  • Collars
  • Pallets

The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM-15) is put in place to specifically address the international transport of solid wood packaging material (WPM). With the transport of untreated wood, there is a risk of carrying and spreading harmful pests while shipping the packaging overseas. ISPM-15 attempts to limit or reduce the chances of spreading harmful pests to other countries.   

To identify if your package is ISPM regulated, IPPC requires specific markings to be included. Below is a key for what the marketing s stand for:

  • XX – This is the ISO country of origin code or ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code. For example, United States will be US and New Zealand would be NZ.
  • 0000 – This is the unique facility code made of number & letters (depending on the country) that is issued to the treatment provider or manufacturer.
  • YY – This is the treatment applied to the wood packaging material. For example, heat treat would be indicated as HT or Methyl Bromide would be indicated as MB.

Each country is different. Some countries will fumigate the package (contents and all) and charge the shipper at a premium rate. Some will just deny the shipment. There have even been cases of the shipment being incinerated or buried in a landfill. Still others may re-export only the packaging and charge a premium rate for replacing the non-compliant material.

ISPM 15 certification is a quality control program specifically for solid wood packaging material. As such, there is no such thing as “ISPM 15 certified wood.” As a quality control program, the IPPC certification mark is often licensed to registered wood packaging producers. These registered facilities apply the IPPC mark to the finished pallets, crates, boxes, etc. The IPPC mark certifies the entire wood packaging item and not just one piece of solid wood. It is important to think of the customs officials, as well. Being forced to look at every board in a wood packaging item would be an overly cumbersome and time-consuming process.

The IPPC mark is applied to the wood packaging. As a minimum, the stamp shall be applied to both ends. Ideally, it should be applied to all four (4) sides. This mark is commonly applied as an ink stamp, stencil or brand on a clearly visible exterior surface of the packaging. The IPPC mark is applied to a minimum of two opposite sides and certifies that all solid wood has met the heat treatment requirement.

You can reuse certified wood packaging so long as you do not alter it by removing and replacing any existing components. Should you need to repair it, it will need to be retreated. Re-treatment can be done by either a certified kiln facility or certified fumigator. However, you are permitted to build on to existing wood packaging that has already been certified, assuming the existing portion of the container is not altered and the added material is certified as having been heat treated. An example of this scenario would be building a frame using HT lumber on top of an already certified pallet. In this case the manufacturer would place their IPPC stamp only on the frame that they added to the pallet.

Bark-free wood is defined as wood from which all bark excluding the vascular cambium, ingrown bark around knots, and bark pockets between rings of annual growth has been removed. [ISPM No. 15, 2002] Based on this definition bark found in the wane area would not be acceptable and would need to be removed prior to shipment. A list of countries that currently require wood packaging to be bark-free can be found in the ISPM 15 country list.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will not issue phytosanitary certificates for wood packaging when the wood packaging is not itself the commodity being shipped. This is because there are already certification procedures in place which require application of the IPPC mark to show compliance to ISPM 15. A certification of heat-treatment is not an acceptable alternative to IPPC-15 marking.

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