Wood and Lumber Export

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of the frequently asked questions and answers written as an aide in interpreting the implementation of the United States Heat Treatment and Fumigation Program. Please read summary of the Wood Packaging Material Export Programs before viewing the questions.

  1. What does ISPM15 stand for?
  2. What is wood packaging material?
  3. What is a quality/treatment mark?
  4. Can I make my own ISPM15 mark?
  5. Is there a listing of lumber mills whereby heat treated lumber may be purchased?
  6. Is my WPM required to be heat treated and fumigated?
  7. Is there an expiration date once my WPM has been either heat treated or fumigated?
  8. Where can I find information pertaining to what countries have or may adopt regulations based on the ISPM15 standard?
  9. Are exports of WPM to Hawaii, Puerto Rico and other U.S. Trust Territories required to be treated and given the ISPM15 mark?
  10. Some countries are asking for phytosanitary certificates to be issued for WPM. Does the U.S. issue a phytosanitary (plant health) certificate for WPM?
  11. How can I ensure that my dunnage is compliant with the importing countries requirements?
  12. My wood packaging materials are made up of hardwood. Is hardwood WPM required to be treated and officially marked?

What does ISPM15 stand for?

The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade (ISPM15) is one of several International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures adopted by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The IPPC is an international treaty to secure action to prevent the spread and introduction of pests of plants and plant products, and to promote appropriate measures for their control. ISPM15 is a standard on which many countries WPM regulations are based upon.

What is wood packaging material?

Wood packaging material or WPM is also called Non-Manufactured Wood Packing (NMWP) or Solid Wood Packing Material (SWPM) defined as "hardwood and softwood packaging other than that comprised wholly of wood-based products such as plywood, particle board, oriented strand board, veneer, wood wool, etc., which has been created using glue, heat, and pressure or a combination thereof used in supporting, protecting or carrying a commodity (includes dunnage)."

Examples of WPM includes but not limited to pallets, skids, pallet collars, containers, cratings/crates, boxes, cases, bins, reels, drums, load boards, dunnage. Wood packaging made of exempt materials but combined with solid wood components must still be treated and marked.

What is a quality/treatment mark?

For both heat treatment (HT) and methyl bromide (MB) fumigation programs , the quality/treatment Mark consists of the a) agency trademark which is the identifying symbol, logo or name of the accredited agency, b) the Facility Identification which is the WPM product manufacturer name, brand or assigned facility number, c) the HT or MB mark, d) the country code which is the two letter ISO country abbreviation, e) the IPPC Approved international symbol for compliant wood packaging material and f) DUN when indication is used for dunnage.

 Quality Treatment Mark  Quality Treatment Mark

Can I make my own ISPM15 mark?

No, you have to be registered with one of the accredited inspection agencies. Here are links for the list of inspection agencies:

Is there a listing of lumber mills whereby heat treated lumber may be purchased?

APHIS does not have information pertaining to lumber mills providing HT marked wood. Heat treated lumber with the required HT stamp must first be requested of the mill. It is the HT stamp that the inspection agency facilities will first be looking for when applying the grading agency official mark to the assembled product.

Is my WPM required to be heat treated and fumigated?

No, under the ISPM15 standard WPM is required to be either Heat Treated to 56 degrees C to the core for 30 minutes or fumigated with Methyl Bromide to the schedule in the ISPM15 document.

Is there an expiration date once my WPM has been either heat treated or fumigated?

The intent of the ISPM15 standard is that once the WPM is treated and officially marked the treatment does not expire. Thus, you can reuse WPM without requiring retreatment and remarking.

WPM that has been repaired or recycled is required to be either fumigated or heat treated again. The old mark is required to be obliterated with a new mark applied by one of the inspection agencies.

Where can I find information pertaining to what countries have or may adopt regulations based on the ISPM15 standard?

This information may be accessed at the following site: Countries Requiring ISPM 15

Are exports of WPM to Hawaii, Puerto Rico and other U.S. Trust Territories required to be treated and given the ISPM15 mark?

No.

Some countries are asking for phytosanitary certificates to be issued for WPM. Does the U.S. issue a phytosanitary (plant health) certificate for WPM?

No, it is against APHIS policy to issue a phytosanitary certificate for WPM used in the transport of commodities.   If the WPM is the cargo, only then can a phytosanitary certificate be issued.

How can I ensure that my dunnage is compliant with the importing countries requirements?

Contact one of the inspection agencies under either the Heat Treatment or Fumigation Programs to obtain information on obtaining treated and officially marked dunnage.

My wood packaging materials are made up of hardwood. Is hardwood WPM required to be treated and officially marked?

Hardwood WPM is required to be treated and officially marked.

Last Modified: October 15, 2008

Information per USDA.gov