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ISPM 15 is an international standard for wood used in export crating and packaging. In order to get ISPM certified, the wood must be either heat treated or chemical treated to insure that it is free from wood boring insects. Transporting insects from one geographic region to another can have disastrous environmental consequences as a region may lack natural defenses from the invading species.
The ISPM 15 treaty has been effective in preventing the invasive species issues as most of the major exporting and importing countries have agreed to abide by this standard.
This doesn’t necessarily stop someone from trying to cheat. That is forging an ISPM stamp on non-treated lumber. A recent article in the Journal of Commerce (JOC.com) reports that inspectors at the Brownsville Texas port of entry has intercepted over 25 shipments of pallets containing word boring insects since October 25th, 2012. In all cases the wood packaging displayed the ISPM markings.
The insects were brought to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Inspection station at Los Indios, Texas, where they were confirmed as quarantine-significant pests.
Penalties totaling $1.3 million dollars have been assessed against the perpetrators. These shipments were transported back to the source country which in this case was Mexico.