ISPM 15 is an International Phytosanitary Measure developed in 2002 by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) (part of the FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization)). The standard describes phytosanitary measures reducing the risk of introduction and spread of quarantine pests associated with the movement in international trade of wood packaging material made from raw wood. Wood packaging material covered by this standard includes dunnage, but excludes wood packaging made from wood processed in such a way that it is free from pests (e.g. plywood).

ISPM 15 directly addresses the need to treat wood packaging materials of a thickness greater than 6 mm (pallets, crates, dunnages, etc.) requiring that they must be treated with heat by means of a Heat Treatment (HT) or Dielectric Heating (DH) and marked, often branded, with a seal of compliance. Implementation of this standard is considered to reduce significantly the spread of pests and subsequently their negative impacts. In the absence of alternative treatments being available for certain situations or to all countries, or the availability of other appropriate packaging materials, Methyl Bromide (MB) treatment is included in this standard (although the use of Methyl Bromide as a treatment method is forbidden within the EU since 18 March 2010). Alternative treatments that are more environmentally friendly are being pursued.

ISPM 15 describes that approved phytosanitary measures that significantly reduce the risk of pest introduction and spread via wood packaging material consist of the use of debarked wood (with a specified tolerance for remaining bark) and the application of approved treatments. The application of the recognized mark ensures that wood packaging material subjected to the approved treatments is readily identifiable. The approved treatments, the mark and its use are described.

FEFPEB, as the representative of the European timber packaging industry, works closely together with the European Commission, national governmental organisations, scientists and other timber packaging associations on the subjects of revision, emergency measures and the possible extension of ISPM 15.

The E-book ISPM 15 is available on Amazon. Click on the link below to see and order:

ISPM 15: The IPPC standard on phytosanitary measures for wood packaging, including dunnage (E-book edition)

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