Export Wood Packaging Frequently Asked Questions
- If I receive an ISPM-15 marked pallet or crate, can I re-use it for other international shipments?
Yes, you can, with some stipulations. You may not replace any of the wood that was used to construct the original pallet, crate, or other wood packaging unit. If you replace any of the original wood pieces, the IPPC marks must be obliterated (rendered illegible) and the wood packaging unit would have to be re-treated and re-marked to qualify for export use.
If you’re going to re-use a previously ISPM-15 marked wood packaging unit, make sure the IPPC marks are legible and appear on at least two opposite sides of the unit.
- Can I use an ISPM-15 stamped base, such as a pallet or skid, and add my own supporting pieces or crating on top of it for export?
Yes, but only if you have your own ISPM-15 mark (IPPC Stamp). The proper procedure would be to leave the previous IPPC marks visible on the base and stamp what you add with your own assigned ISPM-15 marking device.
- Can I purchase ISPM-15 stamped lumber for building my own crates, boxes, pallets or other wood packaging units?
No, that would be a violation of the Wood Packaging Material Enforcement Regulations.
The ISPM-15 mark may only be used on assembled wood packaging units and can only be applied by the facilities that actually build the items or treat them for ISPM-15 compliance. You can purchase lumber that has been heat treated and labeled with an HT stamp, but this stamp has no international significance. Once the wood packaging units are built, the ISPM-15 mark can then be applied. If you don’t wish to get your own IPPC mark for this purpose, an ALSC accredited inspection agency, such as Stafford Inspection, can stamp the finished wood packaging units for you. However, we can only do so if we see the HT marks on the wood before you begin cutting and building with it.
- I’ve been shipping export wood packaging without any ISPM-15 mark for years and have never had a problem. Why should I start now?
Over 130 countries have signed the IPPC treaty that accepts and requires ISPM-15 compliance for wood packaging entering their borders. Most of them have already implemented the international standard, including just about all of our major trading partners. However, most countries don’t have the staff to inspect and intercept every non-marked wood packaging unit that enters their borders. For this reason, some non-compliant wood packaging items may pass through without incident, but this isn’t going to happen every time. If you haven’t gotten caught yet, it’s only a matter of time until you do. If that happens, the results will be extremely expensive and inconvenient for you and your customer trying to receive the shipment.