ISPM 15 stands for International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures for wooden packaging in international trade.
In 2002, the IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention), a sub-organisation of the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN) has agreed on phytosanitary measures for wooden packaging in order to protect native woodlands against pests and to harmonise the national import regulations. A revised version of the ISPM 15 has been available since 2009.
The ISPM 15 becomes effective only after the legally binding implementation in the individual countries. In Germany, this has been realised via the Plant Inspection Ordinance.
The standard applies only to solid wood (softwood or hardwood) with a minimum thickness of 6 mm, which is used for packaging or dunnage. It does not apply to wood composites.
The ISPM 15 requires the following:
Treatment of solid wood with an approved measure
+ labelling with the required marking – to confirm that the treatment has been properly carried out
All measures are not time-limited. Neither a phytosanitary certificate nor a declaration is required for wooden packaging material (the so-called non-wood declaration).
Heat treatment (HT)
A temperature of 56 °C in the core of the wood must be maintained over a period of 30 minutes.
Technical drying: This can also be done as long as the heat treatment values are reached. The advantage of the technical drying is that it prevents moulding.
Gassing with methyl bromide (MB)
This is the only gassing activity approved by the ISPM 15. In the EU, the use of methyl bromide has been prohibited since 18/03/2010. The use of wooden packaging previously treated with methyl bromide or wooden packaging originating from third countries that have been treated with methyl bromide is still permitted.
Microwave treatment (Dielectric Heating DH)
60°C must be maintained over a period of one minute across the entire cross section of the timber. The maximum permissible thickness of the wood for this method is 20 cm.
Currently, no other treatment measures are permitted.
Packages must be made of debarked wood. However, permissible are bark attachments
- that are smaller than 3 cm at any length
- that at a width exceeding 3 cm make up less than 50 cm² (size of a credit card)
The labelling according to ISPM 15 must generally comply with the following layout (incl. frame and dividing line). It may contain one or several lines.
0000 = Registration number incl. Region/state,
HT = Heat Treatment
The labelling must be legible, durable and visible and preferably be attached on two opposing sides of the packaging. It may not be written by hand. The colours red or orange are to be avoided.
The label may be used only by companies that are registered with the competent phytosanitary service. The phytosanitary service provides the registration number upon application and after an inspection of the company. The registered companies will be checked out for the compliance with the ISPM 15 at least once a year.