ISPM-15 compliance refers to the requirements when pallets are crossing international boundaries. ISPM refers to the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures. These standards were adopted by the International Plant Protection Convention, an international agreement that deals with wood packaging materials. It is important to understand that for your international shipments; new pallets and or refurbished pallets must be ISPM-15 compliant. Therefore wood pallets and wood packaging must be heat treated and identified with the IPPC-HT stamp prior to shipment.
The purpose of ISPM-15 is to prevent the spread of insects that could have a detrimental effect on plant life in other countries through transportation. Under the heat treatment process, the core temperature of the wood must reach 56 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. This process of heat treating is the most effective method for destroying harmful pests that may be present in the wood materials.
As for Canada and the USA they are both members of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and have adopted the ISPM-15 standards. Canada is currently exempt from ISPM-15 when shipping wood pallets and other wood packaging materials into the USA, and the same applies when the USA is shipping into Canada. ISPM-15 standards between Canada and the USA may likely change at some point in the near future.
In a rapidly growing market, you cannot afford to have your commodity held up at some international border, or returned as a result of not meeting the ISPM-15 requirements. When selecting a company to look after your ISPM-15 requirements for international shipments, do your research. Choose a company that is certified to supply the product, understands your needs, and is fully aware of the international requirements.