Rules and Regulations for IPPC ISPM 15 Certification
April 22, 2013
An introduction to IPPC ISPM 15 Certification
The IPPC, or International Plant Protection Convention, is a globally ratified treaty that aims to reduce the spread of diseases and pests that threaten plants. The IPPC member nations have worked to produce the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures 15 (ISPM 15), a set of regulations that have been in force since 2004.
Canada has sought to honour its IPPC 15 commitments by implementing the regulations and bringing its import and export laws in line with ISPM 15. These changes affect all wood packaging materials (WPM) such as crates and pallets, which must now meet Canadian regulatory requirements before being suitable for overseas shipping.
WPMs used for shipping domestically to the United States are not affected by these changes, although imports and exports from all other countries are, including Latin America.
The practical side of ISPM 15
According to the ISPM 15-compliant rules, all WPM being used to export goods must be fumigated or treated with heat. This only applies to non-manufactured wood products.
Fumigation is an option and will meet ISPM 15 requirements, but this method is detrimental to the environment and poses serious health hazards to users who will come in contact with the pesticide laden wood. A greener option is heat treatment, which involves heating the wood to 56 degrees Celsius for half an hour, killing any living organisms contained within the wood.
A treated wooden pallet, or other WPM, will be stamped with the official marking of the IPPC. The stamp will also contain details of the country of origin and the type of treatment used. Once the wooden packaging material bears this stamp, it does not need to ever be treated again, unless some part of the WPM is replaced with new, untreated wood.
For deliveries within Canada
ISPM 15 only applies to overseas transport. If you are shipping domestically, you are not required to use treated packing materials.
For deliveries to the United States
US regulations do not require goods of Canadian origin to be shipped in treated WPMs, although US authorities have the right to perform an inspection if they suspect that the packaging may contain diseases or pests. Where the goods have originated from outside of Canada, it will be seen as an import from a foreign country, and therefore WPMs must bear the IPPC stamp.
For deliveries to Mexico, Latin America and all other countries
These will be seen as foreign imports, and therefore all WPMs must be properly treated.
For deliveries into Canada from the United States
The same rules apply for imports and exports between the US and Canada. ISPM 15 compliant packaging is not required for these deliveries, although Canadian authorities may perform their own checks. Where the goods have originated outside the US, or the shipment is intended to travel onwards to a third country, ISPM 15 requirements come into play and must be followed.
For deliveries into Canada from Mexico, Latin America and all other countries
All such imports must use ISPM 15-compliant wooden packing materials.
These are the rules as they stand at the moment, but do be aware that further changes are expected in 2015.