Below please find links to a variety of Websites related to the ISPM 15 standard regarding HEAT TREATED WOOD PACKAGING MATERIAL
ALSC- American Lumber Standard Committee. It’s Board of Review is responsible for the
WPM program and operates to monitor adherence to the requirements of the
International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Guidelines for Regulating
Wood Packaging Material in International Trade. The ALSC WPM Policy
and WPM Enforcement Regulations (download here) implement this program.
IPPC- International Plant Protection Convention. main Website for the IPPC where all standards, international initiatives for plant protection can be reviewed and downloaded.
ISPM 15- This is the download page for the International standard of Phytosanitary Measures no. 15 available in PDF format- Click here to go to the link.
The United States Department of Agriculture's APHIS Web page related to their understanding of the IPPC regulations.
COUNTRIES- requiring ISPM 15- Here find a simple drop down list provided by the USDA/APHIS Website.
HEAT TREAT FACTS / INFORMATION
Kiln dried lumber and heat treatment are different. The purpose of kiln-dried lumber ("KD" as seen on lumber grade stamps) is to reduce the moisture content of the wood (19% or less). This is a means to control warping, fungal growth and other quality features. The kilns or "ovens" the lumber is put into, doesn't necessarily reach the sustained temperature of 133 degrees Fahrenheit (56 Celsius) that would qualify as heat treated. Many lumber mills are processing their lumber to meet the heat treatment requirements thus you will see "KD-HT" incorporated in the lumber grade stamp (Please see the list here of approved agencies and their stamp images that are applied at the lumber mill level).
Heat Chamber- What is it? A heat chamber related to the wood packaging industry is essentially an oven for the specific treatment of wood for ISPM 15 compliance. Temperature sensors (known as thermocouples) connected to a recording device are placed in strategic locations within the wood material in the chamber to insure the core temperature of the wood reaches the minimum required temperature, 56 degrees Celsius. A kiln can serve the same capacity when specifically calibrated for the temperature and time range specified by the ISPM 15 standards (56 degrees Celsius, 133 degrees Fahrenheit- for 30 continuous minutes).
Once the wood packaging is heat treated, it will NOT need to be re-treated for re-use. TRUE. The ISPM 15 regulations stipulate in part at section 4.3.1 "Reuse of wood packaging material- A unit of wood packaging material that has been treated and marked in accordance with this standard and that has not been repaired, re-manufactured or otherwise altered does not require re-treatment or reapplication of the mark throughout the service life of the unit."
If one component of a re-used packaging item (pallet, box, crate, etc.) is replaced, the packaging item will need to be retreated. TRUE! Example; a pallet top board is broken needing replacement. The new board to be used, although may be properly heat treated, would still cause the whole pallet to be outside of the regulations established here in the US.
Re-manufactured heat treated lumber- There are cases when a lumber supplier receives a request for a particular dimension of heat treated lumber that they do not carry or have in stock. In order to fill the client's order, a lumber supplier can "re-manufacture" heat treated lumber from one dimension to another. Example; The client's order is for 2x4- 4 foot pieces of lumber. The lumber supplier has only 2x4- 8 foot pieces in stock. In order to fill the order, the lumber supplier will have to cut down the 8 foot lengths. This situation results in an original lumber stamp that indicates the lumber is heat treated (HT or a KD-HT mark) being either destroyed or now only found on 1 of the cut pieces. In order to maintain the heat treatment identification on all of the cut pieces, the lumber supplier can apply a HT mark on the cut pieces.
NOTE: A problem can be encountered in this scenario. To save time and labor, some lumber suppliers have a roller or other stamp process done by hand to speed up the "re-stamping". If the supplier is not careful, legibility can be a problem and cause the re-manufactured lumber to be rejected by any entity in the inspection process (the supervising inspection agency for the supplier, an ALSC inspector or the supervising inspection agency at the client's facility). Having to re-stamp, re-sort, re-package as well as delay fulfilling the client's order is just some of the frustrations that can be avoided if the re-manufacturing of heat treated lumber is done carefully.