Wooden pallets can be Heat Treated based on the need and use for the pallet. Wooden pallets need to be heat treated and certified for international use when it is an; International shipping crate, custom skid/ pallet, reuseable crate, Trade show display crates, or blocking/Dunnage. This means they all must be heat treated and stamped with an IPPC stamp and certified as ISPM-15 compliant for export.
What does “heat treated” mean?
Pallets are either heat treated, meaning they are heated to a high temperature in kilns to seal the wood. Pallets can be treated with methyl bromide, which is a toxic pesticide and has been significantly restricted in recent years due to health concerns for humans. Heat treated wood is necessary for wood packing materials (or WPM) i.e.: International wooden crates, skids, pallets, blocking/dunnage, and any other solid wood packaging that is used for export. The IPPC sets the ISPM’s, or International Standards of Phytosanitary Measures. IPPC stands for International Plant Protection Convention, which is a treaty and ISPM-15 is just one of those standards that applies directly to the producer and the consumer. ISPM-15 requires that all wooden packaging materials (WPM) must be certified to be free of pest organisms which could be harmful to other countries’ eco-systems (for example: tree eating beetles, etc.) It is a protective measure that all wooden packaging be heat treated or fumigated, then assembled into crates and/or pallets and stamped certified as compliant with ISPM-15 before they can be used for export.
Do wooden pallets that are heat treated have to be stamped?
Yes, inspectors actively check wooden crates, pallets, and dunnage to make sure it is properly certified and stamped before leaving or entering member countries. It’s enforced at the border. If non-compliant wooden packing materials are found, the shipment could be impounded and quarantined until it is compliant. Which could involve costly re-packaging of the shipment in all new crates that are treated and certified by a 3rd party.
Types of stamps for wooden pallets that are heat treated:
There are different stamps required for different situations, i.e.: IPPC Dunnage Stamp, IPPC Finished product Stamp, and HT Lumber stamp. The IPPC Dunnage Stamp identifies wood dunnage (blocking, bracing, choking, etc.) follows in compliance with ISPM-15, however, lumber marked with a dunnage stamp cannot be used to build a finished product. The IPPC Finished Product Stamp identifies assembled wood (finished product) follows in compliance with ISPM-15 and can only accompany a finished product and that finished product must be stamped on two opposing sides. Lumber marked with IPPC Finished product Stamp is used to certify pallets, boxes, crates, etc. HT (Heat treated) Lumber Stamp identifies individual pieces of lumber components as being heat treated. This stamp can be cut off during the building process because this stamp does not make pallets, however, the finished product must originate from the use of lumber with this stamp.
So, after all that, yes, wooden pallets can be treated if necessary, depending on the situation and usage of your pallet.