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Guide to ISPM15

Our Wooden pallet collars are all supplied ready heat treated & stamped (ispm 15) for export, below we have included some information regarding the rules and regulations governing the exporting and shipping abroad of wooden pallet collars and other wood related products

What is ISPM-15?
ISPM-15 is an international standard that requires pallets, pallet collars and all forms of wood
packaging transported between be ISPM-15 compliant, either through manufacture
with compliant wood, or through heat treatment of the complete wooden product. ISPM-15 refers to
International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15. It is an International Phytosanitary
Measure undertaken by the international plant convention (IPPC), this being an international
agreement that addresses the shipment between countries of wooden materials that are thicker than
6 mm.

IPPC came into effect to control and prevent spread of pests and diseases of plants and wooden
products. The convention was created by the member states for Food and Agriculture. Currently,
178 countries and 1 organization adhere to the standard set by IPPC. The main purpose of ISPM-15
is to prevent spread of insects and disease that could have negative impact on plants and ecosystems
through international transport. It covers vessels, aircraft, vehicles, containers, storages areas, soil
and other materials and objects that can spread and harbor pests. The IPPC ISPM-15 standard is
undertaken by the recommendations of many member countries that have found the origin of
harmful pests in the transportation of non-fumigated or non-heat-treated solid wood packaging.

Which materials ought to maintain ISPM-15 standard and which are exempt from it?
ISPM-15 standard rules affect both wood and wooden packaging materials such as dunnage, crates,
reels, collars and pallets , pallet collars, other materials such as plastic, paper, metal and even wood
panel products (engineered wood) such as plywood, hardboard, OSB are exempt from maintaining
ISPM-15 standard. But remember, shipping or transporting wood or wooden products within a
single country is exempt from this requirement. Again, ISPM-15 standard is applicable only for the
countries which adhere to the IPPC guidelines.

How to maintain the ISPM-15 standard?
Under ISPM-15 standard, all non-manufactured wood and wood packaging materials (WPM) for
export such as wooden pallets, dunnage and crating must be treated perfectly Under heat treating,
these WPM must be heated until its internal temperature reaches 56 degree Celsius or more for 30
minutes. This is regarded as most effective way to destroy harmful pests from wood.

After the heating treatment, WPM or wood is marked with internationally recognized IPPC mark.
This mark ensure every WPM or wood is treated only once. It indicates that the wood or WPM is
properly treated maintaining ISPM-15 standard. The treatment method used and country of origin of
WPM is also indicated by the mark. Included in this article is an example of an IPPC mark used in Canada.

What about ISPM-15 in Canada and USA?
Both Canada and USA are members of IPPC and have adopted ISPM-15 regulations to maintain
international obligations. Therefore, international shipment or any other transportation of WPM
must be treated and marked with the IPPC mark. Pallets, crating or any other WPM that are shipped
between Canada and the USA, however are exempt from ISPM-15 requirements, while in the case
of transporting these materials from Canada or the US to any other countries, ISPM-15 rules do
apply. It is a matter of concern for North American business that ISPM-15 standard will likely come
into effect for 2015. From an environmental perspective, broader application of ISPM-15
requirements to cover the Canada-US trade corridor will help ensure environmental protection, but
the cost of heat treatment or alternative material pallets will be absorbed reluctantly by industry.
associated with that material.

The new rules, which are set out in Commission Directive 2004/102/EC, have been incorporated
into our national legislation

Specific requirements of the European Community
From the 1st March 2005 wood packaging material (such as packing cases, pallet collars, boxes,
crates, drums, pallets, box pallets can only be imported into the European Community if they meet
the following requirements.
The wood packaging material shall:
• be made from debarked round wood (this requirement shall only apply from 1st January
2009), and

• be subject to one of the approved measures as specified in ISPM15, notably;

heat treatment of the wood packaging material that achieves a minimum wood core 

temperature of 56 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 30 minutes, or

• display a mark with;
the two-letter ISO country code, a code identifying the producer and the code identifying the
approved measure applied to the wood packaging material as specified in Annex II of

An example of the correct marks as applied by in the United Kingdom for exporting wood
packaging material to countries, which have implemented ISPM15 or that have implemented
emergency measures requiring the material to be to be debarked eg China’s Announcement

SAMPLE MARK Country Code


It is important to note that these requirements do not apply to raw wood of 6mm thickness or less,
and wood packaging material constructed entirely from processed wood produced by glue, heat and
pressure, or a combination thereof eg plywood, oriented strand board, particle board etc.
Additionally the requirements do not apply to wood packaging material, which is simply being
moved from one EU Member State to another.

Phytosanitary Certificates
There is no requirement for ISPM15 compliant wood packaging material to be accompanied with a
phytosanitary certificate as the certification is provided via the wood mark.

From 1st January 2008 onwards, only loose dunnage that meets the requirements of ISPM15 will be
allowed to enter the EU.

Wood products (other than Wood Packaging Material)
For most wood products, the existing requirements will continue to apply. New treatment options,
such as heat treatment for all conifer wood, regardless of country of origin, have been agreed and
are accepted in the UK.

For further information please visit

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