What is ISPM15?
This is a timber treatment standard that has been scientifically proven to neutralise plant pests/insects that may live within or on the surface of timber used within packaging. Other names commonly used to describe the process include ‘Heat Treatment’ – ‘HT’ – ‘HT 56/30’ & ‘IPPC Compliant’.
Why does exported timber packaging need ISPM15 treatment?
Global shipments of products made from all economies include the use of the world’s most cost effective, naturally available, sustainable and strongest packaging material – WOOD.
However, timber in its natural state can contain insects and plant pests, and it has been identified that the introduction of certain insects to countries where they are not indigenous can pose threats to both vegetation and forestry.
As such ISPM15 compliant wood packaging and pallets are a mandatory requirement for all export shipments which are travelling outside the EU.
Is ISPM15 accepted globally?
Yes, all major economies and every member country of the World Trade Organisation accept timber packaging which is ISPM15 compliant.
What type of treatment is ISPM15?
The treatment is heat based … Timber packaging or wood is heated to a level whereby its core has a temperature of 56c and this is sustained for at least 30 minutes. The treatment can be applied by kilning or industrial microwave.
Does the ISPM15 process alter the quality of timber?
No, strength of timber & packaging is unaffected – however, if certain species of wood have a high moisture content the treatment process can result in an increase in bacterial growth – this can lead to mould growth and component discolouration, this is doesn’t affect the strength of the timber and is acceptable within ISPM15 standards.
Is kiln drying the same as ISPM15 treatment?
No, kiln drying is designed to reduce moisture levels and such processes may not result in the core temperature of the timber reaching the required level stipulated within the ISPM15 regulations. The purpose of ISPM15 treatment is to kill insect life and not necessarily reduce the moisture content of the timber.
How can I be sure the timber packaging is treated to the ISPM15 standard?
All packaging/timber has to bear the officially approved IPPC mark and this process must be carried out by an approved provider. Items of wood packaging must be marked at least twice and markings must be visible for inspectors – poorly marked products may be rejected or subjected to re-treatment.
Who provides treatment authority in the UK?
All approved UK treatment providers are members of a body known as the UKWPMMP. Licenses are granted by the Forestry Commission and their agents – audits take place bi-annually and a strict system of traceability must be available at all times.
Are treatment certificates required?
ISPM15 is designed to be a completely paperless system – treated wood packaging is officially marked as ISPM15 compliant after treatment has occurred and no certification is needed to ensure acceptance.
So, to clarify matters; exported timber packaging that is heat treated and has visible approved IPPC markings but no certification to support it will be accepted without question, however if the same packaging has certification but no approved markings it will be refused.
Does ISPM15 compliant wood packaging have a shelf life?
No, once treated the packaging has a global passport for life – however it becomes damaged and repair is needed then re-treatment is required.
What are the implications of Brexit on ISPM15?
All timber packaging leaving the UK for European markets after 01-01-21 has to be ISPM15 compliant – in other words it must be Heat Treated and show a minimum of two visible approved IPPC markings.
The same is also true of any timber packaging materials which are imported into the UK from the EU.
Shaw Pallet continue to monitor all ISPM15 news and update clients on all current export requirements as required … please visit our News section for the latest information and Brexit updates.
How can Shaw Pallet help me?
Shaw Pallet has been an approved treatment provider since 2003.
The company has invested in extremely efficient and large capacity heat treatment facilities; as such we heat treat wood packaging for the trade as well as for our clients who purchase wood pallets and timber packaging products.
We constantly monitor ISPM15 legislation and are members of the UK, EU and North American timber packaging associations – we therefore have excellent visibility of global trends and can provide a unique insight of any legislative changes or exportation issues which may exist globally.
Shaw Pallet also provides all clients with a ‘duty of care’ and back-up service that assists any client facing importation difficulties with ISPM15 compliant products produced by the company.
Call our experts on 01484 848404, or contact us.