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Are heat-treated pallets required for international shipping?

The International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) -15 regulations require that all international shipments using any species of raw wood packaging must be fumigated or heat treated to kill insects and fungus.

This is to prevent invasive insects or fungus from entering the country of import on an affected pallet.

The treating process includes baking the pallet in an oven for a determined amount of time, to kill any pests or insects that may be present internally, then stamping each wood piece with a certified, registered approval stamp that registered with certain wood pallet suppliers who have the capabilities to complete the process. Any violations of the regulations, can therefore, be reverted back to the supplier.

The treatment adds approximately $3 – $5 to the cost of a regular non-treated wood pallet, resulting in a average cost of $18 – $23 per pallet.

The certified stamp is required to be on each pallet before goods are allowed entry into a participating country, and the Customs inspector at the port of entry has full discretion to deny entry if he/she feels the pallet does not meet the ISPM15 requirements.

Plastic pallets are 100% exempt from this regulation.

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