If your pallets do not comply with ISPM-15, it could lead to your biggest export nightmare.
Most shippers export some, if not all, of their products on pallets. There are international regulations that govern the shipment of wood packaging materials (WPM) which are implemented to reduce the transfer of unwanted pests between countries. The regulation that governs WPM is ISPM-15, International Regulation of Wood Packaging Material in International Trade.
HT Stamps and More
Plywood and OSB panel pallets are exempt from ISPM and do not need additional treatments. They do not need the ISPM stamps. However not having the stamps can lead to delays when the import inspector does not understand the material is exempt from ISPM.
Even with proper treatment of wood pallets, or exempt plywood pallets, you are still at the mercy of the import country inspectors. Stories abound of paperwork issues, missing HT stamps, illegible HT stamps, etc. For that reason, some companies use plastic, corrugated, or steel pallets that are clearly free of pests and exempt from ISPM 15 regulations.
If a unit load is non ISPM compliant, it is usually detained in the receiving country. This means the cost and time needed to resolve the issue is at the mercy of the local inspector. Clearly, it is in your best interest to do your homework up front to prevent inspection issues.
What can you do to prevent issues?
Have you ever had an ISPM nightmare? We want to hear your story. Comment below to let us know what happened and how your problem was resolved.
Post by: John Clarke, Technical Director
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