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International Phytosanitary Standard for Wood Packaging ISPM15 Regulations

Aug 17, 2007
There has been increasing concern in recent years about the spread of pests, such as the Asian longhorn beetle and the Pine Wood Nematode, since wood packaging material made of unprocessed raw wood provides a pathway for the introduction and spread of such pests.

In order to protect worldwide stocks of trees and forests, the International Plant Protection Committee (IPPC) has taken regulatory action to control the global movement of wooden packaging in the form of ISPM15.

Will it Affect Me?
If you export wooden packaging that contains sawn timber, such as new or second-hand pallets, boxes, crates, cable drums etc. outside the or into the EU you will be affected by these new regulations.

Packaging that is made solely from manufactured board like plywood, OSB, chipboard etc. is exempt.

The new regulations will apply to all arrivals at destination ports, airports etc. This means that all shipments will need to be treated approximately eight weeks before despatch, depending on transit times.

How can I Comply?
The approved measures that have been adopted are as follows:

Heat treatment of wood packaging, which requires heating of the timber to a minimum core temperature of 56C for a minimum of 30 minutes (HT).
Fumigation, using Methyl Bromide (MB) to the relevant specification.

In order to join to scheme, manufacturers need to demonstrate that they meet the requirements to a third party assessor. Registered manufacturers are authorised to use to ISPM15 mark, which includes the country of origin and a unique manufacturer's registration number

I need more information, where can I find it?

Note this information is provided as a guide only. Individual country implementation dates may change without notice and it is the responsibility of the exporter to comply with importing country requirements at the time of export.

United States
As of 5 July 2006, imports must comply with requirements of ISPM No. 15 or be subject to removal from the importing country. Additional information is available at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/wpm/import.html

European Union
Directive 2004/102/EC, which entered into force on 1 March 2005, requires the following measures to be taken for wood packaging material and dunnage entering the EU from all countries:

The wood must be either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide, in line with ISPM15 procedures.

The wood must be officially marked with the ISPM15 stamp.

From 1 January 2009, all wood packaging material imported into the EU must be debarked. Dunnage must meet the same criteria as wood packaging material. However, it is exempted until the end of 2007 if it is made of wood free from bark, pests and signs of live pests. Additional information is available at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/plant/index_en.htm.

United Kingdom
The Forestry Commission are the UK's representative on the IPPC.

Rowlinson Packaging were the first wooden case maker in the UK to buy and install a heat chamber, specifically designed for heat treatment.

This allows them to treat either timber or finished cases and pallets from their site at Wardle in Cheshire, in the most cost effective manner.

The treatment (HT and MB) lasts for life, so there is no need to re-treat for returnable packaging.
About the Author
Ann Coveney is an Online Content Editor for http://www.32corners.co.uk 32 Corners Ltd</a>. Registered manufacturers Rowlinson Packaging http://www.rowlinsonpackaging.co.uk are
authorised to use to the ISPM15 mark .
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