Why You Should Use Heat Treated Pallets for International Shipping

Handling a business with international shipping requires a lot of careful coordination. It takes a well-oiled staff to make sure all shipments are safe, all paperwork filed, and all products and processes up to code. But if you’re not using heat treated pallets, you might be shipping more than your product overseas— invasive pests, diseases, and harmful chemicals could be hitching a ride.

sample ISPM-15 stamp

So how do you tell whether your pallet has been heat treated and meets wood pallet safety regulations? Take a look at the ISPM 15 stamp on your shipping pallets.

Checking Wooden Shipping Pallets for ISPM 15 Certification

ISPM 15 is an international safety measure applying to the preparation of wooden shipping pallets and other wooden shipping materials larger than 6 mm meant to cross country borders. More than 75 countries follow ISPM 15, including the United States. ISPM 15 certified wooden pallets have all been treated in a way certified to prevent the spread of pests & disease, and all certified pallets will bear an ISPM 15 “wheat stamp” somewhere on the pallet.

If your pallets do not have the “wheat stamp” on it, do not use the pallet. Not only could you be in violation of this safety measure, but the wood could have been treated with chemicals harmful to your workers.

Heat Treated Pallets vs. Other Methods

When you find your shipping pallet’s ISPM 15 stamp, you’ll notice there are a number of two-letter codes. The first will be the shorthand code for the pallet’s country of origin– at All Size Pallets, this will always be US! That code will be followed by a string of numbers which represents the company that produced the shipping pallet.

Below those codes will be the various treatment codes. This is where you’ll want to pay attention to make sure that your pallet has been heat treated. The most common codes you’ll find are:

  • DB – Debarked wood. Debarking the wood for your pallets prior to heat-treatment or fumigation keeps the wood from being re-infested by insects after treatment. Debarking is required for all pallets under ISPM 15.
  • MB – Methyl Bromide fumigation. Pallets with this marking have been fumigated in an enclosed space with methyl bromide pesticide and left to soak for 24 hours.
  • HT – Heat treated pallet. Whether the wood has been heat treated in a stationary heating chamber, a portable heat chamber (PCP), or a kiln (KD), the core of the wood has been heated to 133°F to kill off any infestation or disease.

While methyl bromide treated pallets are still in circulation, using heat treated pallets for international shipping is becoming more and more preferred. Methyl bromide fumigation has been designated as a toxic substance by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) due to both its environmental impact and because of painful side-effects when humans are exposed to the gas long-term.

Please be very careful when burning any wooden shipping pallets with a MB stamp, as the treated wood may still have remnants of the gas.

All Size Pallets’ New Heat-Treatment Facility

inside All Size Pallet's wood heat treatment kiln

At All Size Pallets, we hold our customers’ safety, and the safety of their customers, in high regard. That’s why we have recently installed a state-of-the-art heat treatment kiln on our premises. This kiln will allow us to provide custom ISPM 15 certified heat treated pallets for sale, produced with the greatest care and quality. You can rest easy knowing that the heat treated pallets we provide not only meet all international shipping requirements, but are also safe for international handling, the environment, and you.

For more information on our heat treated pallets or ISPM 15 certification process, contact All Size Pallets in Imlay City, Michigan.


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