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Welcome to ispm15help.com

On this site you will find much of what you need to know regarding the ISPM 15 International Standard for wood packaging materials.  ispm15help.com was created to serve as an information resource on this widespread and impactful regulation.  If you can’t find the information that you are looking for, please contact me.  The ISPM 15 Regulation affects nearly all countries which export products using solid wood packaging materials.

You are most likely here because you need to find out how to obtain ISPM 15 compliance for solid wood packaging material that you will be shipping internationally.

To help you get started, here are some initial steps I would recommend:

  1. Determine if the wood packaging contains solid wood.  If the answer is “no” then these regulations do not apply.
  2. Investigate if the country you will be shipping to actually requires ISPM 15 compliance for wood packaging, by checking my ISPM 15 Countries list.
  3. Contact the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) in the country the wood packaging will originate from to find out how to obtain ISPM 15 certification.
  4. To obtain ISPM 15 Certification in the United States, see the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) list of accredited agencies.
  5. To obtain ISPM 15 Certification in Canada see the following lists of registered facilities on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website…

Canadian Wood Packaging Certification Program (CWPCP) Registered Participants

Canadian Heat Treated Wood Products Certification Program (CHTWPCP) Registered Participants

Other important things to know…

  1. ISPM 15 compliance is shown by the application of the international IPPC mark.  This mark is typically applied in a permanent, non-transferable way, such as a rubber ink stamp, stencil, or branding iron.
  2. The IPPC mark is only applied to finished wood packaging material, some examples include: slate crates, boxes, pallets, skids, wire spools and shipping dunnage.
  3. Sterilization of wood packaging under ISPM 15 may be achieved by either fumigation or heat.  Methyl bromide is the fumigant currently permitted under ISPM 15, however, due to it’s negative environmental impacts many countries, such as Canada, discourage it’s use in this guidance document published by CFIA.  Heat sterilization of wood packaging is, without question, the most common treatment method.  Heat treatment using dielectric heating (microwave) technology was recently approved by the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM).  The CPM is the governing body of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) in Rome.

 The ISPM 15 Standard

The International Standard for Phytosanitary Measure No. 15 (ISPM 15) Regulation for Wood Packaging Material in International Trade (2009) is a regulation aimed at reducing the spread of wood borne pests to non-native forests.

What does this mean?  When wood borne pests are native to the forests in a particular region of the world, the forest ecosystem has natural defenses to cope with such a pest and coexist with it.  However, when a foreign pest is introduced into a forest ecosystem where it is non-native the tree species’ may not have yet developed natural defenses to the pest and the results can be devastating on many levels.  Since forests often provide multiple use benefits to the public, loses can be measure in terms of money, aesthetics, recreation, biodiversity to name just a few.

A copy of the standard can be viewed here ISPM 15 (2009)