¿Have you ever been wondering if your wooden pallets or packaging should be fumigated? Have you ever been surprised by the fines, the load being detained or returned because of having not been fumigated?

It is important to be aware and well informed because the consequence of not meeting the requirements of NIMF-15 may be rejection or destruction of the packaging at the customs office. It is not permitted to re-package the load so the only alternative is the load return paid additionally by your company followed by the delayed delivery to your client.

 

¿HOW DOES IT APPLY?

The ISPM-15 (International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures) is an international agreement focused at avoiding the spread of diseases by wooden packaging between the countries involved into the agreement. To fulfill its requirements the pallets should be defumigated either thermally or chemically before the use. To identify the fumigated packages they should be marked accordingly:

XX – ISO country code (e.g. ES for Spain)

0000 – unique identification number of the fumigation agent or packaging manufacturer

YY – type of treatment: HT for thermal (Heat Treatment) and MB for chemical fumigation (Methyl Bromide)

 

COUNTRIES INVOLVED

Some of the countries that are involved in the ISPM-15 agreement and therefore only accepts fumigated (treated) packaging are:

Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Republic of Korea, Costa Rica, Chile, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, USA, Philippines, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel , the Dominican Republic, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, New Zealand, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Seychelles, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela.

 

EXCLUDED MATERIALS

Some materials are not obliged to follow the requirements because they present a very low risk of transmit the diseases.

  • Wooden packaging manufactured from fine wood (thickness below 6mm), processed wood (OSB o component) or a material including resin or manufactured in high temperature or under high pressure or any combination of above mentioned.
  • Barrels containing wine or other alcohol which were high temperature-treated during the fabrication. Cigar and wine boxes treated in the production process or produced in a process ensuring that they do not contain any disease transmitters.
  • Wooden sawdust and shawings.
  • Wooden parts permanently built in the vehicle or containers´ construction.

 

CONCLUSION

If you are not sure if your pallets were fumigated/treated, the best solution is to replace them by the pallets that were surely fumigated/treated, produced from materials not requiring fumigation/treatment, or even plastic pallets. The cost of the pallet change, manipulation and the cost of the new pallets is always lower then the fines, fumigation at the destination or even the lack of possibility of delivery and all the problems resulting from not having fulfill the commercial agreement.