ISPM-15 Wooden Palette Fumigation
International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) is an International Phytosanitary Measure developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) that directly addresses the need to treat wood materials of a thickness greater than 6mm, used to ship products between countries. Its main purpose is to prevent the international transport and spread of disease and insects that could negatively affect plants or ecosystems. ISPM 15 affects all wood packaging material (pallets, crates, dunnages, etc.) requiring that they be debarked and then heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide and stamped or branded, with a mark of compliance. This mark of compliance is colloquially known as the “wheat stamp”. Products exempt from the ISPM 15 are made from alternative material, like paper, plastic or wood panel products (ie. OSB, hardboard, and plywood). Why started ISPM? The regulations are to help prevent the worldwide spread of plant pests and diseases by using specially treated wooden packaging material (WPM) Who controls ISPM15? 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 UN. How can you tell if WPM has been treated? All treated WPM will have the IPPC mark, as shown below:
What do the markings indicate?
The markings must be within a rectangular border with a vertical line separating the IPPC logo (on the left) from the identifying data. The border lines may be solid or broken; and the corners may be rounded. XX – indicates a two letter ISO country code. 0000 – the next series of letters/numbers is the unique identification mark of the wood treatment agent or packaging manufacturer. The number of letters or digits may vary according to each country. The country code and treatment agent or manufacturer code must be separated by a hyphen. YY – This indicates the type of treatment, and will either be HT (Heat Treatment) or MB (Methyl Bromide). The marking ‘DB’ (indicating debarking has taken place) is no longer used. However, as pallets may last several years, the older style of ISPM-15 marking is still permissible.