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What is ISPM 15?

Updated: Jun 29, 2018

ISPM 15 is an internationally recognized shipping regulation that deals with the treatment of wood packing materials (WPMs).


The standard was developed by the IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention), which is a subdivision of the Food & Agriculture Organization, or FAO, a branch of the UN.


There are multiple ISPM (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures) regulations, ISPM 15 specifically deals with the treatment of wood.


The goal of ISPM 15 is to reduce the spread of invasive pests around the globe. When WPMs are shipped to participating countries, they must display an ISPM 15 stamp. The stamp certifies that all wood has been heat treated. If the stamp is not displayed, the shipment may be turned away or fumigated on the spot, contents included, incurring a fee to the shipper.


Each stamp contains information indicating the shipment's country of origin, the type of treatment used, which NPPO authorized facility issued the stamp, and the IPPC "wheat stamp" logo.


Each participating country has its own NPPO, or National Plant Protection Organization, responsible for issuing and regulating ISPM 15 stamps. The equivalent organization in the US is the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS).


There are three ISPM 15 compliant methods for heat treating WPMs. The first is conventional heat treatment, which heats wood in a kiln. The second is fumigation, using methyl bromide. The third is dielectric heating, during which wood is heated in a microwave.


At Engineered Shipping Containers, only ISPM 15-compliant materials are used to build our custom shipping crates.


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