ISPM-15 Marks: Ensuring Validity

January 21, 2015
ISPM 15 Marks Ensuring Validity

ISPM-15 stands for International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures Number 15, and it’s what many of the world’s nations use to prevent diseases and parasites harbored in wood from crossing borders and potentially infecting plants. When you think about all of the goods in wooden pallets and crates moving across the planet, and when you consider that a single transported parasite has the potential to wipe out a significant portion of certain crops, it becomes clear just how important and necessary ISPM-15 regulations are.

Accepted by all of North America and the European Union, plus most other countries that take part in international trade, ISPM-15 stipulates that all wood thicker than 6mm that’s used for shipping must first have all of its bark removed, must then be either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide to eliminate parasites, and must finally be stamped with an ISPM-15 mark. This stamp is commonly known among those in the shipping business as a wheat stamp.

If your business uses wooden pallets or other wood materials for shipping around the world, staying in compliance with ISPM-15 is essential to keeping your products moving to market. Violations of ISPM-15 are punished harshly due to the risk of contaminating the global agricultural market.

The Components of a Valid ISPM-15 Mark

A valid ISPM-15 mark must appear on all crates or pallets. Not only is it important to ensure that the wood you’re using for transport is in compliance with ISPM-15 regulations, but it’s also good to know if any wood-packed raw materials that your company receives meet the standards as well. When you’re checking to confirm the validity of an ISMP-15 mark, here are the things that you want to see:

  • A mark that’s square or rectangular, with a line separating the International Plant Protection Convention (or IPPC) symbol from the rest of the mark.
  • Symbols for the country of origin, the treatment or producer provider code, and a code for how the wood was treated for compliance. The treatment code is typically either HT for heat treated or MB for methyl bromide.
  • A mark that is not drawn on by hand.
  • A mark that is visible to the naked eye (though there is no specific measurable size requirement for ISPM-15 marks).
  • Text that is sharp and easy to read.

If there is ever any question as to the validity of an ISPM-15 mark, the agency that certified the wood can be contacted.

The Wooden Pallet Specialists

At HWP Herwood, we take ISPM-15 regulations seriously. We heat treat all of the wood used in our pallets to kill any and all larvae and parasites that could be lurking within. If you need safe, durable, standardized pallets for domestic or international shipping, we can help. Give us a call at 1 (800) 884-4907, and let’s talk about supplying your business with the best in heat treated wooden pallets.



Nature Packaging
National Wooden Pallet & Container Association
Herwood Inc. Palettes - Pallets 198, rue Principale nord, Windsor (Quebec) J1S 2E3
Tel: 1 800 884-4907 | Fax: 819 845-7582
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