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Understanding ISPM-15 regulations for wood packaging

Heat treating wood pallets

What is ISPM-15?

ISPM-15: The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15.

These are a set of guidelines that are used to regulate the use of wood packaging internationally.

The GOV website describes it as ‘internationally accepted measures that may be applied to wood packaging material by all countries to reduce significantly the risk of introduction and spread of most quarantine pests that may be associated with that material”.


Why do we need ISMP-15 for wood packaging?

As ISPM-15 explains, Globalisation and increased international trade flow has led to “non-autochthonous animal and plant materials being distributed around the world”. This means that organisms found in the wood could be parasites, which could potentially lead to diseases in plants and plant products.

The origin of any piece of wood is very difficult to find out, especially as wood packing is often reused, repaired or re-manufactured. Therefore, ISPM-15 regulations is a pro-active method to try and prevent non-autochthonous parasites spreading across the world by heat treating wood packing.

Although, there are a few exemptions where heat treating wood packaging is not necessary. These are:

  • Material that is made entirely from thin wood (6 mm or less in thickness)
  • Packaging is made completely of processed wood material, such as plywood that has been created using glue, heat or pressure, or a combination of either. 
  • Wine and spirt barrels that have been heated during manufacture.
  • Saw dust, wood shavings and wood wool
  • Wood components permanently attached to freight vehicles and containers.


What does it mean to ‘heat treat’ your wood?

Heat treating your wood essentially means heating wood packaging to the core at a minimum temperature of 56°C for a minimum time of 30 continuous minutes. This allows the wood to be treated all the way to its core, making it ready for use.


Our solution

Our GlenFarrow biomass department has developed a solution to help keep your wood packaging compliant with ISPM-15 regulations. This is where the GlenFarrow Heat Treatment Kiln comes in…

Main features 

  • Heats wood to 56°C for a period of 30 continuous minutes in order to comply with ISPM-15 regulations.
  • Complete off-site build for prepackaged models 
  • Off-site fabrication and on-site build for bespoke kilns  
  • Drying mode which is capable of air temperatures up to 70°C. This can be used to dry pallets or other products such as logs 
  • The kiln program can be set to automatically dry wood after it is heat treated, preventing mould from developing!
  • Full touch screen control with in-built data logger.
  • Bespoke heat treatment kilns are available to be built to your size and batch size requirements.
  • All kilns can be heated by biomass, oil or gas boilers and these can be included in the pre-packaged units, built and commissioned off-site.


To find out more about our heat treatment kilns and how they could benefit your business, call David Taylor on 01775 722327 or email david.taylor@glenfarrow.co.uk.

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