Packaging and moving solution providers offer a wide spectrum of products for international shipping, designed and produced to accommodate diverse needs. Finding the right one, however, is usually a challenging task, as there are several factors that come into play, with regulatory compliance being one of the many concerns, especially if you use wood packaging products. International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures No. 15, or ‘ISPM 15’ for short, is a set of necessitated measures that aim to prevent the spread of diseases and insects across international borders. Therefore, if you use wooden packaging solutions to ship products internationally, you need to ensure compliance with ISPM 15 rules.

Maintaining Compliance

When it comes to regulations, packaging and shipping are essentially two sides of the same coin. In order to achieve and maintain compliance with ISPM 15 guidelines, you need to ensure that the raw packaging wood used is free from any type of element that could hamper plants or ecosystems. Given this, whether you have outsourced packaging or handle the function in-house, it is important to ensure that your goods have ISPM 15 stamps before shipping. In fact, all professional international shipping or moving companies must comply with ISPM 15 rules governed by IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention).

Possible Penalties

Inability to comply with ISPM 15 guidelines may result in penalties.  Your shipment may be returned, and in extreme cases, regulating authorities may even destroy your goods, especially if your packaging material fails to meet any of the required standards laid down by IPPC. In order to ensure compliance, all raw-wood-packaging is to be fumigated or heat-treated, so that insects and fungus have no space for breeding. In addition, the materials used must be at least 6mm in thickness.

Unearthing the Limitations

Every industry has its own set of compliance regulations that every relevant business need to adhere to, in order to legally operate in the domain. If you are planning to, or already use, wood packaging solutions, it is important to know that ISPM 15 rules only regulate ‘non-manufactured packaging materials’, i.e. packaging solutions made of raw wood, such as wooden crates, wooden pallets, etc.

On the other hand, packaging materials produced with the help of glue, heat and pressure or any combination of these variables, such as plywood, wood wool, oriented strand wood and particleboard, are not governed under ISPM 15. This is because unlike raw wood, such compounded materials do not provide an easy sanctuary to pests, germs and other hazards.

Who Needs Compliance

All international freight forwarders, Non Vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) or Vessel Operating Common Carriers (VOCCs), exporting or importing goods to the USA must follow ISPM 15 rules when using raw wood packaging materials. If you are looking forward to ship your goods to another country using raw wood packaging, make sure that you go for ISPM 15 compliant crates and pallets, sourced from a reputable provider known to offer high quality products, backed by positive customer reviews.