What is ISPM 15?

ISPM 15 is the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures Publication No. 15-Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging in International Trade. It represents the first international commodity based standard and sets out the criteria for regulating wood packaging material used in international trade.

The standard is available from the International Phytosanitary Portal.

Why was ISPM 15 developed?

ISPM 15 addresses the global spread of timber pests by regulating the movement of timber packing and dunnage used in international trade. ISPM 15 describes phytosanitary measures that reduce the risk of the introduction and/or spread of quarantine pests associated with timber packaging material.

Who developed and endorsed ISPM 15?

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) addresses plant quarantine through the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The IPPC is an international treaty administered by the FAO and implemented through the co-operation of member governments. Australia is a member government or ‘contracting party’ to the treaty.

ISPMs are recognised as the basis for phytosanitary measures applied by members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) under the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement). Australia has been a WTO member since 1995.

Which wood packaging material must meet ISPM 15?

ISPM 15 applies to coniferous (softwood) and non-coniferous (hardwood) raw wood packaging material. This includes dunnage, crating, packing blocks, drums, spools, cases, load boards, pallet collars, skids, pallets and other wood units used to secure cargo or a commodity.

The standard does not apply to wood packaging made wholly of wood-based products. This includes plywood, MDF, HDF, chipboard, particle board, oriented strand board, medium density fibre board, mouldings, decor or products created using glue, heat and pressure or a combination of these.

Note: Importing countries may apply specific conditions to wood-based products. Exporters are advised to confirm importing country requirements relating to these commodities prior to export.

How does ISPM 15 affect me?

If you use wood packaging material in the export of commodities of any kind into countries that have implemented ISPM 15, ensure the wood packaging in the consignment complies with the standard.

Which countries have implemented ISPM 15 for imports?

Many member countries of the IPPC, including Australia, have implemented ISPM 15.

What is ISPM 15 compliant wood packaging?

Wood packaging that has been either heat-treated or fumigated with methyl bromide and bears the internationally recognised certification mark.

Only certified treatment providers and/or wood packaging manufacturers can apply the internationally recognised certification mark.

What happens if wood packaging material that does not meet the requirements of ISPM 15 is exported?

If wood packaging material is exported to countries that have implemented ISPM 15 and it is not marked appropriately or it shows signs of infestation, the importing country may order the wood packaging material to be treated or disposed of, or the consignment may be refused entry.

Where can I purchase ISPM 15 compliant wood packaging?

Only companies, Including CMTP that are certified under the Australian Wood Packaging Scheme for Exports (AWPCS) can produce ISPM 15 compliant wood packaging.

What is the Australian Wood Packaging Certification Scheme (AWPCS)?

ISPM 15 specifies that the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) of the exporting country is responsible for ensuring procedures and systems are in place prior to export to verify that the requirements set out in the standard have been met.

The AWPCS is a certification scheme developed by AQIS to enable Australian treatment providers and/or wood packaging manufacturers to produce wood packaging material that meets the requirements of ISPM 15. Under this scheme, certified wood packaging manufacturers and/or treatment providers who meet the requirements of ISPM 15 are authorised by AQIS to apply an internationally recognised mark to wood packaging material.

How does the AWPCS work?

AQIS has the overarching responsibility for the AWPCS and issues certification numbers for use by certified Australian treatment providers and/or wood packaging manufacturers.
The Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) accredits third party certification bodies.
Certification bodies assess applications from treatment providers and/or wood packaging manufacturers and conduct onsite audits.
Certified treatment providers and/or wood packaging manufacturers apply the internationally recognised ISPM 15 mark to wood packaging material that includes the AQIS issued certification number.

What does an ISPM 15 internationally recognised certification mark look like? What do the symbols in the mark mean?

Wood packaging material bearing the stamp or mark below is certified as being ISPM 15 compliant. It may be stamped or branded to the wood packaging material.

An ISPM 15 internationally recognised certification mark must include the following:

IPPC certification symbol

XX: represents the two letter ISO country code (AU for Australia).

000: represents the unique certification number issued by AQIS to the treatment provider or wood packaging manufacturer. Inclusion of this certification number ensures that the wood packaging material can be traced back to the treatment provider and/or manufacturer.

YY: is the treatment abbreviation where:

  • HT: is the code for heat treatment to a minimum of 56ºC for a minimum of 30 minutes
  • MB: is the code for methyl bromide fumigation.

Other information such as date of manufacture, batch number, company name or logo may also be included, provided that it is not confusing or misleading.

The certification mark can be in any colour however the use of red or orange should be avoided as these colours are used in the labelling of dangerous goods.

Does wood packaging material need to be debarked?

Some importing countries enforce the additional requirement that wood packaging material must be manufactured using debarked wood.

Exporters are encouraged to confirm the importing country’s requirements for wood packaging prior to export. Where this is an importing country requirement, wood packaging must be marked in the following manner:

DB-HT: for heat-treated, debarked wood packaging material.

DB-MB: for methyl bromide fumigated, debarked wood packaging material.

Can I re-export pallets that have been stamped with the ISPM 15 mark?

All wood packaging that bears an ISPM 15 compliant certification mark that originates from Australia or another country may be re-exported, provided no alterations are made to the wood packaging.

Once the wood packaging material is heat treated, how long does the treatment last before I have to retreat?

The treatment is considered to be effective against the members of the regulated pest groups (listed in Appendix 1 of the AWPCS) for the entire life of the treated article.

Note: The ISPM 15 standard does not address the issue of re-infestation. If signs of infestation are detected on arrival, the infested wood packaging may be directed for treatment or destroyed.

Do all wooden pallets need to be heat treated?

Heat Treated Pallets (HT) are typically better than chemically treated ones as the heat treatment eliminates insects and insect larvae, reducing moisture levels and making it ideal for pallet handling.

Do I need to provide a documentation to confirm the wood packaging is ISPM 15 compliant?

The internationally recognised certification mark that is applied to wood packaging verifies that it has been treated and is compliant with the ISPM 15 standard.

Note: Some countries do require documentation confirming that the wood packaging used in a consignment is ISPM 15 compliant. Documentation may include packing declarations, packing lists or invoices. Treatment certificates are not required and it is the responsibility of the exporter to provide this documentation.

What is the size of a standard Australian pallet?

Standard Australian pallet dimensions for the transport of goods are as follows:

  • Height: 15cm (150mm)
  • Width: 116.5 cm (1165mm)
  • Length: 116.5 cm (1165mm)
  • SWL: 2000kg

Can CMTP package machinery?

Yes CMTP provide a mobile packaging service where we can come to your site and fully manage the packing of your plant or equipment.

Do we design packaging?

CMTP have a team of packaging designers and CAD specialists that can design packaging for any requirement.

Do we supply Australia Wide?

Yes CMTP has 6 strategically located sites to enable us to supply Australia wide.