Pallet Treatment for International Shipping
When your products are shipped overseas, pallet treatment is necessary. That is because the IPPC (International Plant Protection Committee), which regulates the treatment of pallets traveling internationally, has mandated that both softwood and hardwood packaging must be heat treated to 56 degrees Celsius for thirty minutes or fumigated with methyl bromide. This renders the pallet incapable of being a carrier of invasive species of insects and plant diseases.
Heat or chemical treatment is part of the ISPM 15 Standard, which is an abbreviation for International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures. And, phytosanitary measures is defined as actions taken to protect humans, animals, and plants from diseases, pests, or contaminants. Once heated or fumigated according to the standard, a pallet can be stamped or branded with a mark of compliance. Heat-treated pallets will bear the mark of HT and fumigated pallets will bear the letters MB.
So, which is the right treatment for your pallet traveling overseas?
Heat treatment may be a safer option because there are no chemicals used in the process. Methyl bromide may be toxic if handled improperly. The risk is little, however, because low concentrations are used and methyl bromide dissipates so rapidly to the atmosphere.
Ultimately, however, it is best to review all options with a reputable pallet specialist. And, since the ISPM 15 Standard has undergone revisions, which can be complicated to understand, partnering with a provider experienced in international shipping will ensure your pallets conform to current requirements and that your shipment will be accepted at its destination world-wide. For more information about pallet treatment or to continue the discussion, please contact us.