The International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures publication number 15 ("ISPM #15") is the regulation of wood packaging material (WPM) in international trade. The regulations were established in 1952 to assist in the prevention of the worldwide spread of plant pests and diseases by using specially treated wooden packaging material (WPM). 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 United Nations.
More than 175 countries are signatories to IPPC, which have developed 34 Measures, specifically the #15 Measure which regulates wood packaging materials in international trade. Over 150 countries have adopted ISPM #15 as a means to significantly reduce the phytosanitary concerns related to growing global trade and the spread of pests through solid wood packaging materials.
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, particle board, oriented strand board (OSB) or products created using glue.
As a leading importer, the US has several examples of invasive pests introduced into the country such as the Asian Long-horned Beetle, the Emerald Ash Borer, and the Dutch Elm Disease. Most all can be traced back to shipments received where the non-heat treated solid wood packaging materials contained these forest destructive pests.
You can tell if the wood packaging material has been treated by looking for the special IPPC mark. See the below picture as an example.
ISPM #15 Certification - Heat Treatment
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LEFCO Worthington meets all IPPC and ISPM #15 requirements and provides certification that your international shipment will not be rejected by border investigators due to non-compliance issues. We provide heat treating services and the required documentation expected by border investigators.
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INTERNATIONALLY ACCEPTED TYPES OF HEAT TREATMENT MEETING ISPM #15 REQUIREMENTS
HT (Heat Treatment) - The wood need to be heated until its core reaches 56 °C for at least 30 minutes
Kiln-dried (KD): Similar to the standard HT, but it also requires moisture's standards
Mobile Heat Treatment (HT): Heat treatment conducted in heating chambers installed in trucks. Allows the treatment to be done anywhere
Portable Chamber Process (PCP - HT): Heat treatment conducted in portable chambers made of thermal fabric. Allows the treatment to be done anywhere, but with lower costs. The process' patent requirement belongs to a Brazilian company
Fast Container Connector (FCC - HT): Heat treatment conducted directly in containers by a mobile heating unit. Its a simplified variation of PCP. Ideal for ports and terminals
MB (Methyl Bromide) - Requires to completely fill an area with gaseous pesticide (methyl bromide). This HT method was officially banned starting December 2015
These treatment processes must be applied to all solid wood packaging materials, lumber, timbers, or smaller items. There are some exempt materials, such as composite wood productions, such as plywood, particleboard, Oriented Strand board (OSB), flake board, and veneers. These composite products are exempt due to the high temperatures used in their manufacturing process. See the above Plywood Exempt - ISPM #15 attached document.
Countries Requiring ISPM #15
Regulation of Wood Packaging Materials in International Trade
Phytosanitary Terms - ISPM #15
Full International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures
Canadian Wood Pallet & Container Association IPPC Requirements
Plywood Exemption - ISPM #15
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