Industry Advice Notice no. 2004/16: Implementation of ISPM 15 for Wood Packaging Material in Exports

​​Date issued 17 August 2004

International Adoption of ISPM 15

Wood packaging such as pallets, dunnage, crating, packing blocks, drums, cases, bulk heads, load boards, pallet collars, and skids used in the transport of commodities during export are often made from unprocessed raw wood. Packaging of this nature provides a potential pathway for the introduction and spread of pests and diseases and therefore poses a significant plant health risk.

In recognition of the plant health risk associated with wood packaging made from unprocessed raw wood the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) has adopted a wood packaging standard: International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures - Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging in International Trade (ISPM 15). This standard aims to significantly lessen the risk of unprocessed raw wood being used as a pathway for the introduction and the spread of pests and diseases through international trade. As a signatory to the IPPC Australia is obliged to implement this standard.

The ISPM 15 standard applies to (coniferous softwood and non-coniferous hardwood) unprocessed raw wood packaging material. The standard does not apply to wood packaging made wholly of wood-based products such as plywood, particle board, oriented strand board, medium density fiberboard or products created using glue, heat and pressure or a combination thereof.

Treatment Options

To meet the requirements of ISPM 15 all unprocessed and raw wood packaging material must undergo either heat treatment (ie kiln drying) or fumigation with methyl bromide. Where heat is the chosen treatment option all wood packaging material must be heated in accordance with a specific time-temperature schedule that achieves a minimum wood core temperature of 56¿C for a minimum of 30 minutes. Where fumigation is the chosen treatment option all wood packaging material must be fumigated with methyl bromide in accordance with the minimum standard described in Table 1 below.

Table 1. Minimum Methyl Bromide Fumigation Standard


Dosage rate

Minimum concentration (g/m3) at:





21¿C or above






16¿C or above






11¿C or above






The minimum temperature should not be less than 10¿C and the minimum exposure time must be 16 hours.

Where wood packaging has been treated by one of the methods listed above, the treatment is considered to be effective against the members of the regulated pest groups listed in Table 2 for the entire life of the article. The standard is not intended to address the issue of reinfestation.

Table 2. Regulated pests associated with unprocessed wood












* With some exceptions for Heat Treatment



Bursaphelenchus xylophilus

Certification Mark

All wood packaging material that has been subjected to an approved treatment and is produced for use in consignments exported to countries that have implemented ISPM 15 must display an internationally recognised certification mark. The certification mark is shown below.

The certification mark is non-transferable and ultimately provides traceability to the treatment provider and manufacturer. Each mark is unique to the individual treatment provider or manufacturer of the wood packaging material. The mark allows the importing country to verify that the wood packaging is ISPM 15 compliant.

Example of ISPM15 certification mark 

The mark must include:

  • IPPC certification symbol
  • XX: represents the two letter country code, AU for Australia
  • 000: represents the unique Certification Number (CN) issued by AQIS to the treatment provider or wood packaging manufacturer. Inclusion of this CN in the certified mark ensures that the wood packaging material can be traced back to the treatment provider and manufacturer.

YY: is the treatment abbreviation

HT is the code for heat treatment to a minimum of 56o C for a minimum of 30 minutes.

MB is the code for methyl bromide fumigation.


Where an importing country has implemented ISPM 15 and wood packaging material that does not carry the required certification mark is exported, the importing country may take action. This action may take the form of treatment, disposal or refused entry.

Australia’s Implementation of ISPM 15 for Exports

The AQIS Grain Exports Program (GEP) in conjunction with the Joint Accreditation Systems - Australia New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) are in the process of finalising the development of the Australian Wood Packaging Certification Scheme (AWPCS). 

Under this scheme wood packaging manufacturers and treatment providers who meet the requirements of ISPM 15 will be authorised by AQIS to apply the internationally recognised mark to wood packaging material produced for use in the export trade. It is anticipated that the scheme will be available by October 2004.

Interim Measures for Countries that have Adopted ISPM 15

A list of country implementation dates is provided on the AQIS website. Click on either of the links below to be directed to this information.

Country implementation dates for International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15: Guidelines for regulating wood packaging material in international trade (ISPM 15)

Alternatively the information can be obtained by going to the AQIS website.

Please note the list of country implementation dates is provided in good faith as a guide only. Exporters are encouraged to confirm the importing country’s requirements for wood packaging prior to export.

To facilitate the entry of export consignments containing wood packaging material into countries that have implemented ISPM 15, AQIS will provide a Phytosanitary Certificate endorsing that the wood packaging material in the consignment has been treated in accordance with the requirements of the ISPM 15 standard. The provision of a Phytosanitary Certificate is an interim measure and this option will only be available until the AWPCS is established.

At the request of the exporter, AQIS will issue a Phytosanitary Certificate on a per consignment basis, subject to the following conditions:

1. The exporter has confirmed that the importing country has adopted ISPM 15 and will accept a Phytosanitary Certificate endorsed with the following additional declaration:

“ Solid Wood Packing Material treated in accordance with ISPM 15 as per attached treatment certificate.”

2. The wood packaging material in the consignment has been either fumigated with methyl bromide or heat treated by a treatment provider that has been assessed by AQIS as meeting the requirements specified in ISPM 15. (The interim arrangements for the assessment of treatment providers are detailed below.)

3. The exporter must be able to provide supporting documentation for each consignment intended for export to verify that treatment has occurred. Documentation may include treatment certificates and declarations from suppliers and/or manufacturer’s stating that the wood packaging material used in the consignment has been either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide.

Please note if an original treatment certificate is unavailable then the exporter must provide a copy of the certificate that has been certified as being true and correct.

Interim Arrangements for Assessment of Treatment Providers

The interim guidelines that AQIS will apply when determining if a treatment provider meets these requirements are as follows:

1. Fumigators

All fumigators must be licensed to use methyl bromide and meet state and environmental requirements.

All fumigation premises, which undertake fumigation treatments of wood packaging material destined for export, must provide a treatment certificate for each batch of material that has been treated.

a) AQIS approved fumigation premises

AQIS will monitor AQIS approved treatment centers as per current arrangements under either import or export requirements. 

b) Fumigators not approved by AQIS

For fumigation premises that are not approved under current AQIS arrangements AQIS staff will need to conduct an inspection/verification of these premises to ensure they have solid concrete floors, tarpaulins or tents that are in good condition, have temperature monitoring equipment, trained fumigation personnel and calibrated measuring equipment devices.

If these establishments pass inspection then treatment certificates from these providers will be accepted. Establishments may need to be monitored until confidence in the premises systems is established.

2. Kiln Drying 

For AQIS to accept treatment certificates from Kiln drying operations the following system will be used as an interim measure.

1. AQIS staff will visit requesting establishments to determine that they have calibrated temperature measuring equipment and knowledge of the lowest heating points in the chamber. This may be verified through documentation where an establishment already has a documented quality system in place. 

2. AQIS staff must ensure that the establishment has a coding system in place that identifies each batch of timber that is treated and ensure that there is a recording system in place to identify the despatch of treated batches. This may easily be verified if the establishment already has a third party auditing system in place. 

In addition to the above all parties should note the following:

- All treatment certificates and supplier/manufacturer declarations must be on company letterhead signed and dated. Treatment certificates must be able to be linked to the wood packaging material used in the export consignment.

- If an exporter cannot demonstrate traceability back to the treatment provider AQIS will not issue a Phytosanitary certificate.

- The inspection of any facility by AQIS during this interim period does not contribute to accreditation under the AWPCS that is currently being finalised.

- AQIS staff will monitor treatment providers to ensure that an effective treatment is being maintained.


The cost of the Phytosanitary Certificate will be as per the “Grain Export Fees and Charges” of $10 per consignment. The time spent issuing the certificate will incur a fee-for-service charge.

Under the interim arrangement there is no charge for AQIS to inspect a treatment provider or manufacturer’s premises.

Useful Links

The International Phytosanitary Portal

Copies of the IS​PM 15 Standard

For further information clients should contact Leanne Payne on telephone: 02 6272 5037 or e-mail Leanne Payne.

Lois Ransom
Manager, Plant Programs

Contact Officer: Leanne Payne
Telephone: 02 6272 5037
Facsimile: 02 6272 374

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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