Not all pallets are created equal for shipping. Some pallets that are good enough for domestic travel may not be allowed in international ports. If you’ve found a market for your products abroad, it’s important to know what regulations cover international freight shipping to avoid quarantine delays or, in worst case scenarios, outright disposal of the cargo.

International Standards for Wood Containers

Most countries around the world adhere to a set of measures developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) regarding wood packaging. This set of regulations are known as  the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 — or ISPM 15. 

ISPM 15 regulates the movement of timber across countries to prevent the global spread of timber pests and diseases. If your wood packaging carries the ISPM 15 stamp, it’s good to go. Lack of this stamp might place your shipment in jeopardy when it arrives in an international port.

Exemptions to the ISPM 15

The regulations apply to most softwood and hardwood packaging materials like crates, pallets, skids, and boards, but products that are considered low risk are exempted. These are:

  • Wood packaging that is 6mm or less in thickness
  • Engineered wood products that have been crafted using pressure, heat, glue, or a combination of these
  • Barrels (for wine and spirit) that have undergone heating during manufacture
  • Wood gift boxes that have been processed in a way that it has been rendered free from pests
  • Wood shavings, sawdust, and wood wool
  • Wood parts permanently attached to freight containers and vehicles

Getting the ISPM 15 Stamp

To get the ISPM 15 stamp, all wood packaging materials that do not belong to the exempted list must undergo a heat treatment process. The heat treatment involves heating the wood for 30 minutes in temps of 56 degrees Celsius or more to kill off all harmful pests that may be living inside the wood. 

You can also choose to use a fumigation process instead, although this is not as popular a method as heat treatment. 

After undergoing the required treatment process, the wood will then be stamped with the IPPC mark indicating the type of treatment used and the material’s country of origin.

Do remember to check the full guidelines for the specific country you are shipping to as some have stricter requirements than others. Also, the ISPM 15 is only applicable to countries that follow IPPC guidelines.

Maintaining the ISPM 15 Branding

You can reuse your wood packaging materials through numerous international freight shipments without having them treated again as long as they remain unaltered. Once your packaging materials undergo repair, remanufacturing, or any change, they will have to go through another treatment process.

Sail through customs easily with our ISPM 15 wood products.

Don’t let your precious cargo get held up in ports. Our team of experts can advise you on the best way to ship internationally, and we’ll provide you the wood products for it. We can even help you with a custom order that exactly meets your freight shipping needs. Contact us at (303) 660-0084 or drop us a message today.