Wooden pallets have long been known as an effective and reliable means of supporting materials during transport. They are light, sturdy, easily stored and, most importantly, affordable for cost-conscious shipping companies. However, upcoming changes to an existing Canadian-US exemption on international shipping regulations may soon affect the cost of wooden pallets, with significant impacts expected across the industry.
The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Regulation ISPM 15 requires that wood packaging materials undergo heat or chemical treatment before being used to transport goods across international lines. The goal of the regulation is to avoid the introduction of foreign species of insects or plant disease into another country. However, in North America, the same rules do not necessarily apply. Under an existing Canadian-US agreement, wood packaging materials (e.g. pallets) that are transported between these two countries are exempt from the treatment requirement, based on the rationale that the nations share forests that straddle the border and, therefore, share the same species of wood pests and diseases.
The ISPM exemption is scheduled to come to an end soon, however. Due to insect infestations in both countries (such as the spread of the Asian Longhorn Beetle), regulators have decided that the existing agreement will be terminated and that enforcement of ISPM 15 to full compliance will begin in early 2015. This will mean full heat or chemical treatment of all wooden shipping materials. Meeting the new requirements will not come without a certain bit of growing pains, of course. Given the low winter temperatures in Canada and the northern US, generating the heat required to conduct treatment on all wood packaging products is expected to have a significant effect on production costs within the industry.
HWP Herwood is far ahead of the game in regards to the new regulations, with all of our wooden pallets currently conforming to IPPC ISPM 15. Our pallets are heat treated right at our facility, using on-site processes that provide full control over the quality of the final product. Once treatment is completed, your ISPM 15 pallet is lighter, parasite-free and in full compliance. In addition, our products are clearly labeled with an IPPC certification symbol to provide border agents with easy means of identifying product conformance to standards.
With HWP Herwood, you can rest assured that our products are designed to carry your goods safely and swiftly to wherever they need to go.