Export Regulations:

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) have recently instated a regulation on wood packing materials that are being exported and imported to and form North America to reduce the spread of insects and diseases. With the ongoing problem of insects destroying national forests and the fear of disease spreading to the trees, nations are forced to create these requirements. Under this regulation all solid coniferous wood packing materials must be heat treated or fumigated upon shipping. Also, the pallets must be free of bark, insects, nematodes, and the pallets must not be porous.

Upon departure and arrival; all wood pallets, boxes, crates, and containers are systematically checked by customs agents for documentation of proof that the shipment meets all international requirements. Documentation is required to certify that the shipping materials used are acceptable under the new wood packing materials regulations. A signed document from both the pallet provider and the pallet user are mandatory for customs to accept the shipment.

With the rapid growth of the global economy, nations around the world are trying to protect their forest without impeding the business interest of their country. The USDA's Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) of the United Nations have established emergency requirements that govern imports to their participating countries.

EU Emergency Requirements:

On October 1, 2002 the European Union's regulations on all solid coniferous wood packing materials (pallets, boxes, containers, etc.) came into effect. The requirements for these materials to be shipped to any EU nation from the US, Canada, China, or Japan must be treated by one of the following:

  • Heat Treated to a core temperature of 56 degrees Celsius for at least 30 minutes and marked to indicate location of treatment
  • Pressure treated (impregnated) and marked to indicate location of treatment.

United Nation's IPPC Regulations:

In May of 2002 the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) of the UN began regulations on all wood species (coniferous and non-coniferous). The IPPC's standards on wood packaging are to be treated by one of the following:

  • Fumigation
  • Chemical pressure impregnation
  • Controlled Atmosphere
  • Chemical Dip

The People's Republic of China Emergency Requirements:

On January 1st of 2000, the People's Republic of China placed an emergency requirement for all coniferous wood packing materials coming into the country from the United States and Japan. Non-coniferous wood packing materials are allowed to enter the country, but must be marked accordingly to show proof that it is not made up of coniferous wood. All coniferous wood packing materials entering the People's Republic of China must be marked with proof and documentation of treatment by one of the following before it is allowed to enter:

  • Heat treated at a minimum of 56 degrees Celsius continuously for 30 minutes
  • Fumigation treatment
  • Pressure treated or chemically dipped

The USDA / APHIS Regulations:


The requirements for solid coniferous wood packing materials to be imported to the US are required to treated by one of the following

  • Heat treated and marked to indicate location of treatment
  • Fumigation and marked to indicate location of treatment

APHIS has entered into a memorandum of understanding with both the International Lumber Standards Committee (ALCS) and the National Wood Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) to oversee the official programs of heat treatment or fumigation and the marking of wood packing materials for export.


The new regulations will impact the business costs and methods of production for many pallet providers across the globe. Manufacturers and recyclers will find it very difficult to meet the new requirements put on wood packing materials. These regulations will drive up the cost of wood pallets and other wood packing materials, and will increase the attractiveness of other alternative materials.


In a matter of years, the entire global economy will be affected by the new regulations placed on wood packing materials. In order to meet the needs of pallet consumers, One Way Solutions manufactures durable yet inexpensive plastic pallets that serve as a great alternative to wood pallets. Since plastic pallets are exempt from the import/export laws that have been placed on wood pallets, plastic pallets have become the obvious choice for many corporations throughout the world.

Countries Affected by Regulations:

Countries and their approximate ISPM 15 Adoption Date:

  • Argentina: June 2006
  • Australia: Sept 2004 Complete Adoption: July 2010
  • Bolivia: July 2005
  • Brazil: June 2005
  • Bulgaria: Jan 2006
  • Canada: Sept 2005 (US-Canada exemption)
  • Chile: June 2005
  • China: Jan 2006
  • Colombia: Sept 2005
  • Costa Rica: Mar 2006
  • Croatia: Jan 2007
  • Cuba: Oct 2008
  • Dominican Republic: July 2006
  • Ecuador: Sept 2005
  • Egypt: Oct 2005
  • Guatemala: Sept 2005
  • Honduras: Feb 2006
  • India: Nov 2004
  • Indonesia: Sept 2009
  • Israel: June 2009
  • Japan: Apr 2007
  • Jordan: Nov 2005
  • Kenya: Jan 2006
  • Lebanon: Mar 2006
  • Malaysia: Jan 2010
  • Mexico: Sept 2005
  • New Zealand: April 2003
  • Nicaragua: Feb 2006
  • Nigeria: Sept 2004
  • Norway: July 2008
  • Oman: Dec 2006
  • Paraguay: June 2005
  • Peru: Mar 2005
  • Philippines: June 2005
  • Seychelles: Mar 2006
  • South Africa: Jan 2005
  • South Korea: June 2005
  • Sri Lanka: Mar 2004
  • Switzerland: Mar 2005
  • Syria: April 2006
  • Thailand: February 2010
  • Taiwan: Jan 2009
  • Trinidad & Tobago: Sept 2005
  • Turkey: Jan 2006
  • Ukraine: Oct 2005
  • Venezuela: June 2005
  • Vietnam: June 2005
European Union: Mar 2005
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom