ISPM 15, Processed Wood Vs Gross Wood

In the previous post we have detailed the new requirements established when sending merchandise to the Canary Islands, these phytosanitary requirements apply to all types of wooden packaging that may represent a route for pests that pose a threat mainly to live trees. This includes the packing of wood such as cages, boxes, drawers, stowage wood, pallets, cable drums and reels, material that can accompany almost any imported shipment, even those that are not normally subject to phytosanitary inspection.

There is controversy about the use of processed wood boards in the manufacture of packaging and legal requirements when exporting, so we analyze this international standard (ISPM standard in its section No. 15) and in the section “scope of application” details:


Area of ​​application

This standard describes phytosanitary measures that reduce the risk of introduction and / or dispersion of quarantine pests associated with the mobilization in the international trade of wood packaging made of raw wood. The wooden packaging regulated by this standard includes the stowage table, but excludes packaging made from processed wood in such a way that it is free of pests (for example, plywood).

The phytosanitary measures described in this standard are not intended to provide continuous protection against contaminating pests or other organisms.

Later in section “2 – Regulatory wood packaging” in the “Exemptions” subsection we can see:

2.1 Exemptions/ Immunity

The following articles present a sufficiently low risk to be exempt from the application of the provisions of this standard:

  • wooden packaging made entirely of thin wood (6 mm or less thick).
  • wood packaging made entirely of wood material under processing, such as plywood, particle board, fiber-oriented boards or sheet metal sheets produced using glue, heat or pressure or a combination thereof.
  • barrels for wine and spirits that have been heated during manufacturing.
  • gift boxes for wine, cigars and other products made of wood that has been processed and / or manufactured in such a way that they are free of pests.
  • sawdust, wood shavings and wool.
  • wooden components permanently installed in vehicles or containers used for freight.

As detailed in these two sections, the standard implicitly excludes processed wood from its scope of application, so marking and subsequent certification of this type of wood in the import and export of materials is not required.

In the manufacture of packaging different types of board are used depending on their characteristics, the most used are:

  • Plywood board (pine, birch, poplar…)
  • Chipboard of baked fibers, OSB.
  • Raw chipboard board.

To avoid future problems in customs, it is important to know the materials used in the manufacture of the packaging as well as if they fall within the scope of the ISPM15 standard, a certificate by the packaging manufacturer facilitates this process and saves unnecessary procedures.

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