Overview of ISPM 15 Requirements for the Wood Packaging Industry
The international transport of solid wood packaging material (WPM) is regulated by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), which is a subdivision of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of The United Nations. The IPPC issues the regulations known as International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs), and the one specific to WPM is ISPM 15.
ISPM 15 stipulates the treatments and protocols necessary to reduce the risk of the introduction and spread of invasive quarantine pests that results from the usage of WPM for shipping items across the globe. Under ISPM 15, there is no paperwork assigned to WPM that is certifiably treated. Instead, a stamp is applied to the packaging to signify treatment. Countries that choose to participate in the ISPM 15 program only accept and export properly treated and marked WPM.
The ISPM 15 treatment certification stamp has several different forms but all contain the same information: The IPPC “Wheat Stamp”, country of origin (xx), facility code (000), and type of treatment (YY). (In the United States, the third-party inspection agency is also included).
ISPM 15 also stipulates that each participating country regulate WPM through their National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO). For the United States, the NPPO is United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS). Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), APHIS authorized the American Lumber Standards Committee (ALSC) to administer the ISPM 15 program. Currently, there are two options for certified treatment, conventional heat treatment (HT) and methyl bromide fumigation (MB).
To apply the mark, your facility (i.e. pallet manufacturer or recycler, pest control, cargo forwarding, export brokerage) must be certified by an inspection agency. These agencies provide inspection and auditing services to certify that facilities use the treatment mark as stipulated by ALSC. To find a comprehensive list of agencies, consult the ALSC website, or the list of NWPCA HT and MB inspection agency members located in the column to the right.
If you are a manufacturer of WPM and require ISPM 15 treatment for your packaging, or are looking for a manufacturer of WPM that is ISPM 15 compliant, you can find facilities that perform heat treatment through our directory.
Members of the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association are strong supporters of the goals of ISPM15 to safeguard the forests and urban trees around the world from the spread of non-native invasive species.
NOTE, THERE ARE SEVERAL DIFFERENT, ACCEPTABLE FORMS OF THE IPPC CERTIFICATION STAMP AS DESCRIBED ABOVE. CLICK TO REVIEW AN EXAMPLE.
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