1. What Is ISPM?
The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measure (ISPM) is a regulatory guideline developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) to enforce and guarantee the biosecurity of nation borders by protecting against the spread of pests, insects and bacteria as a by-product of international trade.
2. Who Is Responsible?
Government border authorities are responsible for enforcing the ISPM 15 regulation on wood packaging material which expresses that an item shall be appropriately treated and marked under an official program developed and overseen by the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) in the country of export, the ISPM 15. If a shipment does not adhere to ISPM 15 crate regulations, customs may reject or confiscate the item and charge the importer for any costs associated with the re-export or destruction of the rejected shipment.
3. What Is Heat Treatment?
Wood packaging is one of the leading methods of transport for goods and services abroad but it is also an organic material that needs to be properly treated and inspected to ensure it isn’t breaching any of the ISPM 15 crate regulations. Any wooden crate travelling overseas must have been subjected to an ISPM 15 approved treatment.
Heat treatment is one of the most commonly accepted methods and can vary in its application. Heat must be applied until the woods core reaches 56C for at least 30 minutes. The use of steady heating chambers and even kilns can be used to reach the desired effect although kilns must adhere to strict moisture standards.
Fumigation using Methyl Bromine (MB) has been a popular treatment method in the past. Items are quarantined and fumigated using MB for a 24 hr period of time, eliminating any foreign substances within. Fumigation is not environmentally friendly and due to this has been phased out in most developed countries.
4. What Is the Official ISPM 15 Label?
Once an ISPM 15 approved crate has been processed it will receive an official label which may be stamped or branded onto the wooden packaging material.
ISPM 15 mark
XX – Indicates a 2 letter ISO country code
0000 – Represents the next series of letters/numbers that will appear and indicate the unique identification mark of the wood treatment agent or packaging manufacturer.
YY – Indicates the type of treatment used and will either show HT (Heat Treatment) or MB (Methyl Bromide).
5. Why Do We Use ISPM 15 Regulation for International Transport?
Any ISPM 15 crate must be accompanied by a Packing Declaration, which is a legal document stipulating the importer/exporter has adhered to ISPM 15 regulations. The declaration form must state whether any prohibited packaging materials, timber or bamboo products/dunnage have been used within or to package the cargo.
If timber/dunnage has been used then a proper treatment certification will be required either in compliance with ISPM 15 standards or DAFF treatment requirements. A declaration must also be made that the container being used has been rid of any foreign substances such as animal material and/or plant origin and soil.
These regulations not only keep countries safe from environmental issues but ensure that the product being received is of the utmost quality and has been treated as such.