International Trade Office
Ask Your Pallet Supplier for "Heat Treated Export Pallets"
As a result of growing concerns about the spread of pests such as the Asian long-horn beetle and the pine wood nematode, all timber must be heat treated to a core temperature of 56° celius for no less than 30 minutes.
Pallet owners/exporters need to prove that their pallets comply with phyto-sanitary standards and that they bear the internationally recognized mark. Meeting the standards involves rigorous inspections of quality procedures and records. Non-compliance, however, can lead to large fines.
Pallets meeting the standard should have the following stamp:
- The Heat Treatment stamp should be visible on each pallet, and contain the IPPC logo and unique registration no.
- The Treatment code (as appropriate)
Recycling export certified pallets from a variety of sources with different registration numbers on each pallet can be a non compliance flag for customs officials.
Some countries, for example China, still require some back-up certification, known as a Phytosanitary note. This certificate verifies the source of the Heat Treatment. Each batch of Heat Treated pallets has the same unique code as the certificate so they can be easily traced.
A second option is to purchase pallets made from something besides wood. However, those options are more expensive, and in the export market, where pallets are rarely returned, are generally not cost effective.
For more information, visit the USDA website on Wood Packaging Material (WPM) .