Updates on ISPM 15 Standard

ISPM 15 is an international standard for wood packaging material that specifies treatments to eradicate the wood from infestation by insects.   The purpose of this standard is to prevent the transfer of invasive species by international shipment.

Up until recently there were two approved methods for treating wood packaging material:

  • Convectional heating of material:  Wood must be brought to temperature that exceeds 57 degrees C for 30 minutes.   Material that is heat treated in this manner has “HT” stamped on it. on the stamp.
  • Chemical fumigation:  There are a variety of acceptable methods for chemical fumigation of the wood.   Methyl Bromide is the chemical used for this process.  Methyl Bromide is applied as an odorless, colorless gas that is immediately lethal for all insects.   While Methyl Bromide has been determined by the EPA as ozone depleting and was phased out for general use in 2005, the EPA is allowing this chemical for quarantined uses such as wood fumigation.  Materials that have been chemically treated bear the initials “MB” on the stamp.

Some countries do not allow the use of Methly Bromide on wood materials.  It is possible this chemical process will be phased out over the next few years. 

Recently another treatment method has been approved called dielectric heating.  Dielectric heating uses microwave or radio frequency heating.  It is required that the wood must reach a minimum temperature of 60 degrees C for 1 minute, and reach that temperature within 30 minutes of start of treatment.   Wood treated in this manner will be stamped with the initials “DH”.

There have also been recent exemptions for the ISPM standard.  These exemptions are wood products that have been determined to have a low risk of infestation.   These materials include very  thin wood and other types of wood where it was deemed that the fabrication process adequately treated the material to eradicate any potential infestation.   Examples of such wood include plywood, OSB, MDF, particle board and veneers that have been created with a process of heat or pressure.

Packnet is licensed and audited by Timber Products Inspection Agency.  For more information on how Packnet meets the ISPM 15 regulations please see the ISPM 15 page.