Heat treated pallets

Why Are Pallets Heat Treated?

Pallets are heat treated for several reasons, with the primary goal being to reduce the risk of spreading pests and diseases through the international movement of wooden pallets.

Heat treatment is a method to ensure that pallets meet the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15), which is an international regulation established by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).

Here are the main reasons why pallets are heat treated:

Pest Control: Heat treatment, specifically a process known as heat sterilization or heat pasteurization, involves subjecting the pallets to high temperatures to eliminate or significantly reduce the presence of insects, larvae, and other pests that might be living within the wood. This helps prevent the spread of invasive species and diseases that can be transported through wooden pallets.

Compliance with ISPM 15: ISPM 15 is a globally recognized phytosanitary standard designed to prevent the spread of pests and diseases in wooden packaging materials. To meet the requirements of ISPM 15, pallets must be heat treated to a specific temperature and duration, which ensures that they are free from harmful organisms.

International Trade: Many countries have adopted the ISPM 15 standard, and pallets that have been heat treated and properly marked with the required International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) mark are allowed to be used for international shipping and trade. Heat-treated pallets are often a requirement for importing and exporting goods.

Environmental Benefits: Heat treatment is considered an environmentally friendly method of pest control as it avoids the use of chemical pesticides, which can be harmful to the environment and human health.

The process of heat treatment typically involves heating the wood to a specific temperature (usually 56 degrees Celsius or 132.8 degrees Fahrenheit) for a specified duration, which can vary depending on the thickness of the wood. Once the treatment is complete, the pallets are marked with the IPPC logo, along with a country code and unique registration number, indicating that they have been treated and are compliant with ISPM 15 regulations. This marking helps customs authorities and inspectors verify that the pallets have undergone the required heat treatment.