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What are the ISPM 15 heat treatment requirements?

Whether you're just starting out in the international shipping business or you're only going to be shipping international packages occasionally, you should be aware of the ISPM 15 heat treatment guidelines. The more knowledgeable you are about these specific guidelines, the more smoothly your international and military shipments will go.

ISPM stands for International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures number 15. It was developed by the IPPC, or the International Plant Protection Convention, in an effort to prevent the shipment of wood crates that have been contaminated with insects, rodents, and diseases that could potentially spread and wreak havoc on international ecological communities and plants.

This standard includes all wood materials that could potentially attract and provide a haven for insects, rodents, and diseases, such as wood pallets, crates, collars, reels, and more. These wood-containing shipments must adhere to ISPM 15 guidelines regardless of how they're shipped or stored. This applies to storage areas, aircraft, vehicles, soil, and the many other transport methods that haul wood-containing packages that are known for spreading diseases and insects to other countries.

What does the ISPM 15 heat treatment process entail?

There are some materials that are exempt from ISPM 15 requirements, and these materials include paper, metal, plastic, and engineered wood products like hardwood or plywood. According to ISPM 15, all wooden crates and other wood-based export shipping materials that are 6 mm thick or greater must undergo a special approved decontamination process in order to adhere to these guidelines. The most effective decontamination process involves a heating process that involves the wood packaging materials being heated until it reaches an internal temperature of 132.8 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and sustaining that temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes. This process has been found to successfully and thoroughly rid all wood packing material of potentially harmful insects, vermin, and diseases.

As an alternative to the heating process, the ISPM 15 heat treatment rule will allow fumigation using a chemical called methyl bromide, which is a chemical that is frequently used in the extermination of pests. However, due to the dangers involved in the use of methyl bromide, the heating process is becoming the preferred method for decontaminating wood packing materials involved in international exportation. Not only is methyl bromide known to damage a layer in the atmosphere, but it also causes health problems for those using this chemical to perform extermination and fumigation. These potential health problems include damage to the eyes, lungs, and skin, as well as respiratory failure and central nervous system damage.

What happens after the treatment process?

Once wood packaging materials have been properly decontaminated, the materials will then be stamped or branded. This stamp indicates that the materials are certified and have gone through the appropriate process of decontamination, regardless of whether it was by heat or methyl bromide fumigation. If the package was decontaminated using the heating process, then the package will be stamped with HT, and if it was treated with methyl bromide fumigation, it will be stamped with a FB. Each certified package is also stamped with the ISSC seal of approval, as well. Without these two stamps, packages would not be allowed to continue on to their destinations.

What happens if wood packaging materials arrive without a stamp?

Each country has its own set of guidelines for handling wood-based packages that arrive without proper certification. Some countries will have the item treated themselves and send the company a bill for the service. The bill is often significantly more than what it would have been had the package been properly certified by the sender. Other countries send packages back, bury them, or even burn and dispose of the non-compliant packages.

When to hire a professional

If the ISPM 15 heat treatment protocol isn't adhered to properly, then you face the chances of your packages being delayed, rejected, or even destroyed. This could result in your customers failing to receive their packages and choosing to opt to do business with other companies in the future, as a result. Adhering to the requirements of ISPM 15 can seem daunting and overwhelming for some people, especially if they're just starting out in the international and/or military shipment business. Luckily, there is a way to ensure that all your packages will meet the ISPM 15 requirements, without headaches or stress. You could invest in the services of a manufacturer and shipper who has knowledge and experience in shipping like Kaiser & Johnson.

Kaiser & Johnson can not only ensure that 100% of your shipments are shipped in a secure manner, but they can also guarantee that each package will undergo the proper clearances in order to arrive at its destinations as quickly as possible. Kaiser & Johnson has been in business since the '60s and has been successfully providing international and military shipping services for businesses everywhere. Not only can Kaiser & Johnson manage all your international shipments that contain wood packaging, but they also sell wooden crates and pallets. Kaiser & Johnson has been providing services for some of the most well-known companies around the world, and they can provide services for you, too.

As you can see, ISPM 15 is a very in-depth process that must be strictly adhered to in order to ensure that all wooden international shipping crates that meet the criteria are properly decontaminated and stamped. If you would rather not bother with all the technicalities involved in the process, then give Kaiser & Johnson a call, and they can handle all of your international wood crate shipments, so you can focus on other aspects of running your business. Kaiser & Johnson can also manage all of your military-based shipments, as well.

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