Many manufacturers today face the costly inconvenience of adhering to ISPM 15 regulations, which are the regulations adopted by the United Nations requiring that all solid wood packaging and pallets be fumigated or heat-treated and certified before being exported. Countries are continually adopting and implementing the ISPM 15 standards, which means that this is an issue that your company will have to face, if it has not already.

King Pallets is able to offer ISPM 15 certified heat treatment for both softwood and hardwood pallets at a fraction of the cost of fumigation or traditional heat treatment methods. King Pallets can make all of your pallets export-compliant at a price your company cannot afford to ignore.

Do you currently export your products internationally?
Are the pallets and/or crates that you're shipping your export products with compliant with the destination countries' wood packaging materials regulations?

King Pallets offers heat treated hardwood pallets, heat treated softwood pallets and heat treated #1 and #2 recycled pallets, as well as heat treated crates and containers to ensure that your wood packaging materials are export compliant for worldwide shipping and adhere to the ISPM 15 regulations, which are continually being adopted by countries all over the world (see below). Don't allow your exported products to be held up in customs simply because they were shipped on a non-heat treated pallet, contact King Pallets today to learn how to become export compliant worldwide

ISPM 15 Solid Wood Packaging Update

Australia- Adoption of Bark Tolerance for Imports Defined in the Wood Packaging Standard ISPM 15

Following the adoption of the revised version of the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures Publication No. 15: Regulation of Wood Packaging Material in International Trade (ISPM 15) in April 2009, Biosecurity Services Group (BSG) undertook to review Australia’s requirement for bark freedom on solid wood packaging material. From 1 July 2010 Australia will accept solid wood packaging material that is treated and marked as ISPM 15 compliant and meets the bark tolerance requirements defined in the revised ISPM 15 standard. This requires that solid wood packaging material be debarked, but allows a tolerance for small pieces of bark that have not been completely removed during milling.
This tolerance for bark will also apply to solid wood packaging treated with other AQIS approved treatments. The ‘bark free’ declaration is still required but the ISPM 15 tolerance limits apply. Any wood packaging and dunnage exceeding the ISPM 15 bark tolerance limit will be subject to treatment, export or destruction at the importer’s expense.

What will change?
The ISPM 15 standard requires that solid wood packaging material be debarked, but allows a tolerance for small pieces of bark that have not been completely removed during milling. The standard allows for any number of visually separate and clearly distinct small pieces of bark to remain if they are less than 3 cm in width (regardless of the length) or greater than 3 cm in width, with the total surface area (length × width) of an individual piece of bark less than 50 square cm.
As of 1 July 2010 BSG will adopt the ISPM 15 bark tolerance for all solid wood packaging. Any wood packaging and dunnage exceeding the bark tolerance in the ISPM 15 standard will be subject to treatment, export or destruction.
There will be no change to the ‘bark free’ statement on AQIS’s current packaging declaration.
Please note that AQIS still has a bark freedom requirement for timber imported as commodity (any timber other than solid wood packaging material). This means that only ingrown bark around knots and bark pockets between rings of annual growth are acceptable for commodity timber.
Packing Declarations must comply with requirements set out in the Minimum Documentary Requirements Policy.
The AQIS requirements for wood packaging and dunnage will be updated in the Import Conditions Database (ICON) case for Timber Packaging and Dunnage. The web page Bark on Timber packaging and dunnage will also be updated from the implementation date of 1 July 2010.

Debarking of WPM-European Union
The revised ISPM 15 requires all stamped WPMs be manufactured from debarked wood. The Debark Regulation requires that any number of separate and clearly distinctive small pieces of bark are acceptable under the following conditions:
1. Less than 3 centimeters (1-1/8") in width regardless of the length of the patch,
2. Greater than 3 centimeters in width and the total area of the bark patch must be less than 50 square centimeters (approximately the size of a credit card).
Bark is considered the "outer layer of a woody trunk, branch or root outside the cambium layer". Pieces of bark covering several faces of a wood component must be measured widthwise from edge to edge of each patch. Excessive bark can be scraped or stripped from the wood components.
During PROL inspections there is a zero tolerance to bark exceeding these levels. As a result of this new regulation many of our clients have had products held and sent back to the manufacturer for failing to comply. Also, there have been an increased number of re-inspections due to bark not being compliant. Again, this regulation is for ALL products with the WPM mark.

Notice to Department of Defense (DoD) vendors
The Department of Defense has announced that its shipments both “inside and outside of the United States must meet ISPM 15.” These requirements will be reflected in Defense Logistic Agency solicitations issued as of August 1, 2006. DOD pallets must be heat treatment or kiln dried (DOD does not accept fumigation as a treatment method). For more information, see the American Lumber Standard Committee, Incorporated Web page at

Summary information for countries that have begun implementation or announced plans to implement ISPM-15:
Argentina: June 2006
Australia: September 2004 (As of July 1, 2010 Australia will allow bark to ISPM 15 tolerances. They still require Packing Declarations.)
Bolivia: July 2005
Brazil: June 2005
Bulgaria: January 2006
Canada: September 2005 (Note: Date to end US and Canada exemption has not yet been set.)
Chile: June 2005
China: January 2006
Colombia: September 2005
Costa Rica: March 2006
Croatia: January 2007
Cuba: October 2008
Dominican Republic: July 2006
Ecuador: September 2005
Egypt: October 2005
European Union: March 2005
Guatemala: September 2005
Honduras: February 2006
India: November 2004
Indonesia: September 2009
Israel: June 2009
Jamaica: October 2007
Japan: April 2007
Jordan: November 2005
Kenya: January 2006
Lebanon: March 2006
Malaysia: January 2010
Mexico: September 2005
New Zealand: April 2003 (Variation: Relaxation of WPM from "bark-free" to "debarked")
Nicaragua: February 2006
Nigeria: September 2004
Norway: July 2008
Oman: December 2006
Panama: Not yet enforcing ISPM 15
Paraguay: June 2005
Peru: March 2005
Philippines: June 2005
Seychelles: March 2006
South Africa: January 2005
South Korea: June 2005
Sri Lanka: March 2004
Switzerland: March 2005
Syria: April 2006
Taiwan: January 2009
Tanzania: No published date of implementation
Thailand: February 10, 2010
Trinidad & Tobago: September 2005
Turkey: January 2006
Ukraine: October 2005
United States: September 2005
Venezuela: June 2005
Vietnam: June 2005

ISPM-15 Requirements
Compliance with ISPM-15 for wood packaging materials allows for two treatment options:

Heat Treatment (HT): Wood packaging material should be heated in a schedule that achieves a minimum core temperature of 56ºC for a minimum of 30 minutes. The American Lumber Standards Committee administers the U.S. certification program for heat treatment.

Methyl Bromide (MB) Fumigation: The wood packaging material should be fumigated with methyl bromide. NWPCA has been tasked by the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to administer the fumigation program.

NOTE: ISPM 15 requirements apply to all species of coniferous (softwood) and non-coniferous (hardwood) packaging materials.


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