Compliance with ISPM 15 - A Requirement for Wood Pallets and Packaging

Compliance with ISPM 15 - A Requirement for Wood Pallets and Packaging

Whether you manufacture industrial machines, parts for the aviation, railway, or aerospace sectors, or any other products that require protection from the jolts and shocks of international shipping, we have the wooden shipping crates or pallets to ensure that your items arrive intact and with no scratches. Our wood boxes or crates are built to withstand the rigors of the export market and comply with international shipping standards.

Over the years, international shipping standards have emerged to address issues related to the treatment of wood. One such standard revolves around ISPM 15, which stands for International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15. Stamps or branded marks on wooden crates certifies that they are ISPM 15 Compliant (see sample stamp below).

ISPM 15 Compliant Stamp

At Aircraft Crating Inc., we have the best packing practices for wood crates and have complied with the ISPM 15 Standards.

This article would be of great help in helping you understand what ISPM 15 is and how to comply.

What is ISPM 15?

ISPM 15 is the acronym used for ‘International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures Publication No. 15: Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade’.  Under this standard, the wooden materials for packaging used in international trade that are thicker than 6 mm need to be treated before shipment. It can be met through approved heat treatments and fumigation treatments. Other emerging treatments include dielectric heat, steam, and vacuum.

Understanding treatment requirements for solid wood packaging, such as wood pallets and packaging, including recycled or refurbished units, can prevent the inconvenience and cost of having your shipment quarantined at international ports of entry.

What are the Different Treatment Options?

The ISPM 15 standard permits two treatment options for wood products:

  1. Heat Treatment (HT) Wood packaging material should be heated on a schedule that achieves a minimum core temperature of 56 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 30 minutes. The American Lumber Standards Committee (ALSC) administers the US certification program for heat treatment.

  2. Methyl Bromide (MB) fumigation The wood packaging material should be fumigated with methyl bromide. The National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) has been tasked by the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to administer the fumigation program.

What is Heat Treatment?

The wood industry chooses to use heat treatment capabilities, an environmentally friendly way to destroy harmful pests from wood and a completely effective method of complying with ISPM 15 standards.

When wood that is imported is not heat treated, it has a high risk of carrying pests that can affect trees and plants that might not have the ability to survive the disease of non-native insects. This process protects forests and other crops around the world from being infested with these pests when wood packages are delivered.

Heat Treatment is a non-chemical process to kill and prevent pests in wood. Heat Treatment ensures that all materials are treated properly inside and out. The thermal modification ensures the wood’s resistance to rot or fungal decay.

What happens when wood packaging does not comply and it is shipped anyway?

Each country has different rules. Some countries will either treat or fumigate the package and charge a premium rate, while others will deny the shipment or even incinerate it. Either way, the problems arising from such non-compliance would be potential liability and great financial loss. This is why ISPM 15 compliance is extremely important.

Which materials are required to comply with the ISPM-15 standard, and which are exempt from it?

ISPM-15 standard rules affect both wood and wooden packaging materials, such as:

  • Crates
  • Reels
  • Collars
  • Pallets
  • Items such as Wood Bracing must also comply.

On the other hand, alternative materials such as plastic, paper, metal, and even wood panel products (engineered wood) such as plywood, hardboard, and OSB are exempt from maintaining the ISPM-15 standard. The ISPM-15 standard is also applicable only to countries that adhere to the IPPC guidelines. For a list of participating countries, see this list.

We hope you found this article useful and that it gave you a full grasp of what ISPM 15 is. At Aircraft Crating Inc., we work with the best wood craters in the industry, and we are happy to share our expertise. We do not just deliver your items safely and securely; we also ensure that our wood packaging materials are environmentally friendly.

Contact Us Now! Call us at (818) 361-0076 or email us at You may also visit our office at 12355 Gladstone Ave., Sylmar, CA 91342.