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The ISPM-15 standard and its impact for companies that export

If your company exports, you are concerned by the ISPM-15 standard, that is to say, the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures.

ISPM 15 compliance for exportation

This international standard concerns the measures and regulations to be observed when you export your products in packages that are made of wood or that include wood parts.

Since wood packaging that is used for export is often made from recently cut wood, it is possible that some live insects are transported to a part of the world where they could wreak havoc and become an invasive and destructive species.

This is why the global standard ISPM-15 was introduced in 2003. It aims to guarantee the safeguarding of biodiversity, the preservation of the environment as well as public health, by reducing the risk of introduction and propagation of harmful organisms that could affect the fauna and flora of foreign countries.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, non-native bark and wood infesting insects have arrived in Canada in non-heat treated wood packages. This is the case for the Asian Longhorned Beetle (shown below) which is an extremely destructive organism that attacks maples, poplars, birches and willows. It was finally eradicated from the cities of Mississauga and Toronto in Ontario. This was the only known population of the Asian longhorned beetle in Canada. This was the only known population of the Asian longhorned beetle in Canada.

Examples of insect pests

Asian long-horned beetle, brake borer, pine weevil
From left to right: Asian long-horned beetle, brake borer and pine weevil.

Therefore, to reduce the likelihood of infestation, all wooden packaging, such as pallets, shipping crates, blocking pieces and any other wooden parts thicker than 6 mm must be heat treated and, in addition, certified ISPM-15 (ISPM-15).

To be compliant, the wood packaging must be heat treated at a temperature of 56° for a period of 30 minutes in its core.

Of course, using HT (Heat Treated) stamped wood is not enough to be compliant. The wood must, in addition to the heat treatment, bear the seal of an accredited supplier in order to obtain its ISPM-15 certification.

The ISPM-15 standard includes a set of strict guidelines that govern wood packaging materials that are used to transport and export materials and food by ship, air, or land.

In other words, once the wood has undergone the heat treatment, it must also be stamped by a certified supplier and the supplier's accreditation number must appear on the stamp.

Example of a valid stamp for export


IPPC stamp

The IPPC seal is mandatory on all wood packaging for export.


How does the ISPM15 standard impact your export packaging?

If your packaging is not stamped in accordance with international law as per the International Plant Protection Convention, you run the following risks:

  • you may experience shipping and delivery delays;

  • your customer could refuse to accept your products for non-conformity;

  • your products could remain stuck at customs, quarantined or outright refused at the border and returned at your expense;

  • you may be charged additional fees for fumigation;

  • your shipment could be destroyed at your expense;

  • you might even have to pay a fine.

Therefore, to avoid any problems and additional costs, it is essential to work with a certified industrial packaging supplier so as not to run the risk of encountering unpleasant surprises.

Are you using recycled ISPM-15 crates and pallets?

Did you know that many companies are using non-compliant ISPM-15 treated wood packaging?

Here are some examples of situations that can make your packaging non-compliant:

  • your crates or pallets have been stored outside and may have been in contact with insect pests;

  • you have added non-ISPM-15 certified blocking wood to your wood crates or pallets;

  • you have repaired and replaced parts or sections of wood on your recycled crates or pallets, making them non-compliant since the added parts are not traceable according to international requirements and because you are not an approved facility for the program

To learn more about ISPM-15, consult the text ''Homemade” packaging solutions for export and risk level" or contact us by phone at 1.888.687.6111.

At Crares And Pallets, we are experts in custom packaging design and we offer you the ISPM-15 certification guarantee required for export.

All of our products are heat treated and comply with international standards of all countries. In addition, we maintain a traceability manual for our products, apply strict control rules and undergo regular inspections by impartial inspectors.

We have all the certifications to guarantee you a hassle-free export without any unpleasant surprises. We are certified under the TC program, accredited to the ISPM15 standard, approved by the CFIA and a member of the CWPCA.

Visit our website to find out how our experts can help you.

Certified Pallets and Crates,

industrial packaging specialists

at your service since 2004!


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