Heat Treated Pallets

ISPM 15 Certified Heat Treated Pallets

At Edwards and Ross, we supply quality heat treated wooden pallets in full accordance with industry standard ISPM15. At our plant in South Wales, we treat thousands of pallets each week in heat treating kilns boasting the latest technology.

We can heat new or recycled pallets and can even modify your existing stock of wood packaging – collecting, heat treating and returning your pallets within three working days. Whatever your needs, we are confident we can meet them. When it comes to heat treated pallets, you can count on Edwards and Ross.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. At Edwards and Ross, every single pallet we supply comes with a full audit trail – and a certificate to prove that your wood packaging material has been heat treated appropriately.

Many of our existing customers regularly ship goods to the European Union, America, Australia and other countries applying the ISPM15 standard – and our experience when it comes to global exporting can help you avoid product spoilage and possible rejection.

We also specialise in advice on pallet moisture content and exporting – so if you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What is heat treatment?

Heat treatment is a phytosanitary treatment process, developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) – a treaty designed to stop the spread of plant-dwelling pests.

Let us explain. Pallets are made from organic material: wood, which comes from trees. Simple enough so far.

But maybe you didn’t realise that this wood also absorbs water – which contains nourishment, but also all kinds of pests, like the Asian long-horned beetle or the pine wood nematode. Without heat treatment, these nasties could easily take a free ride with your pallets – potentially spreading diseases and causing harm to alien ecosystems

We heat treat pallets to a minimum core temperature of 56oc for at least 30 minutes: hot enough to ensure pests are eradicated, while guaranteeing your pallets remain commercially usable.

Why do I need heat treated pallets?

If you are shipping goods to a country complying with International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) and your pallets are 6mm or thicker, they must be heat treated. ISPM 15 is an international standard for phytosanitary measures – essentially an international rule put in place to safeguard sustainable agriculture and protect our food security.

Since European Union law requires non-EU countries to comply with international standard ISPM 15, all pallets bound for European Union countries now also require heat treatment.

There are strict policing measures in place to ensure that goods shipped internationally are transported using heat treated pallets – and the use of improper wooden packaging can lead to large fines.

Since its important that pallet owners can prove their pallets comply with regulations, all pallets that have been heat treated according to ISPM 15 standard will carry a globally recognised authentication stamp. This should include the IPPC logo and the two-letter International Standards Organisation country code, showing the country of origin.

A US-based pallet company was recently fined $100,000 for using the ISPM 15 stamp on pallets which had not been properly heat treated. Across the world, agencies are working hard to prevent pallet suppliers from contravening the Plant Protection Act.

At Edwards and Ross, we only treat pallets to ISPM 15 standard – so you can be sure that your pallets have undergone the proper treatment process, are marked with the necessary stamp and are ready for export.

Should you also need the certificate verifying where the heat treatment took place, this can be easily provided by us.

View our Forestry Commission certificate

Which countries carry the ISPM 15 standard?

Countries applying the ISPM 15 standard include the USA, Australia, Canada, China, India and Brazil.

As of January 1st 2021, goods shipped from the United Kingdom to the European Union must also comply with ISPM 15.

For further information regarding ISPM 15 and countries applying this standard, pleas visit Timcon or Forestry England

Will my pallets require re-treatment? 

Once a pallet has been heat treated, it’s good to go for the rest of its working life. The ISPM 15 stamp is essentially a pallet passport that never expires! 

Is heat treatment the only treatment that complies with ISPM 15?

There is also the option of chemical fumigation – primarily with Methyl bromide – but we would never advise spraying your wood with chemicals. There have been a number of cases where fumigation has led to food and pharmaceuticals being recalled, and it can also leave your cargo carrying a nasty smell.

Heat treatment is not only the safest treatment for ISPM 15, it’s also the best – since it helpfully reduces the moisture content of your wood, and ensures your pallets are safe to reuse. 

Since the legislation surrounding heat treated pallets and the treatment process is subject to regular change, we understand all this can be a little confusing. If you are unsure whether you need heat treated pallets, or have any questions for the team, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Heat Treated Pallets FAQs

What is a heat treated pallet?

A heat treated pallet is one which has been heat treated to kill any diseases, pests, eggs or larvae that may be contaminating the wood.  In order to sterilize the pallet, it is heated to 140 degrees for a minimum of 30 minutes, although the exact length of time will depend on the type and thickness of the wood.  This process is sufficient to kill anything which may be contaminating the wood.

A heat treated pallet which meets the ISPM 15 standard will be marked and it’s treatment process should be traceable.  Without this, pallets used for international shipments may not be accepted at their destination country.

How do you know if a pallet is heat treated?

You’ll know a pallet which has been heat treated as it will have been marked following the treatment.  

Any pallet which is intended for international use must bear an IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) stamp.  This stamp will contain the initials HT which confirms that the pallet has been heat treated and is safe for international use.  Other letters within the stamp may give information about whether the pallets have been debarked (DB), kiln dried (KD) or treated with Methyl Bromide (MB).

A reputable supplier of heat treated pallets will be able to provide you with a full audit trail and certification.

Can heat treated pallets be reused?

It is possible to reuse or recondition heat treated pallets if they are going to be used domestically and there is no risk of spreading pests or disease to vulnerable countries.  If this is the case then there is no expiry on when the pallet can be used until.

However pallets must always undergo the full heat treatment process again if they are to be used internationally. The original stamp must be erased and replaced with a new stamp to certify that the pallet is safe for international use.  This is to meet the regulations in place in other countries around the world, such as the USA.

Why is wood heat treated?

The primary reason that wood is heat treated is to prevent the spread of harmful diseases and pests which may cause significant damage, particularly in vulnerable countries.  This is known as an international phytosanitary measure in line with ISPM 15 (International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures no. 15).  This also ensures that the product being shipped on the pallet is safe from contamination.

When pallets are being shipped internationally, this heat treatment is crucial to prevent any disease or larvae from spreading between countries. This is particularly important when pallets are reused and may reach multiple destinations.  Heat treating pallets has the added benefit of reducing the moisture content which makes pallets lighter and cheaper to transport.  Heat treatment is not necessary when pallets are being used domestically.

Can pallets get termites?

Yes, it is possible that pallets which have not been heat treated can have termites in them.  However, heat treating pallets would kill any termites present.  In fact, termites contaminated early pallets which were being shipped globally and spread in areas of America where they had not previously been causing significant damage to wooden buildings in the region.

Treatment measures approved under IPSM15

Heat treatment (HT) to a minimum core temperature of 56oC for a minimum of 30 minutes.

For further information regarding ISPM15 and countries applying this standard, please visit the regulatory body – Timcon or the forestry commission.

The legislation surrounding heat treated pallets are subject to regular change, if you are unsure whether you need heat treated pallets or have any questions, don’t hesitate – get in touch.

Edwards & Ross Pallets & Drums are proud to sponsor Pontlottyn AFC, Blackwood Stars RFC, Merthyr Ironmen Rugby League, Blackwood Town Cricket Club, Ebbw Vale RFC and Deri RFC.