When our customers call, and order a skid, pallet, crate or even lumber to be exported it is our job to ensure that the necessary requirements are met or exceeded. Knowing the necessary steps, requirements, and markings will help assure that our customers’ products are packaged correctly and do not get help up in foreign customs. Our hope for this week’s blog is to educate our customers about what is required for export wood packaging. All lumber must be heat treated by raising its core temperature to 56°C (about 140°-150°F) for 30 minutes. This is referred to as the 56/30 requirement.
Lumber Heat Treating
When we heat treat lumber our main focus is to remove large portions of bark that are still intact on our lumber. By removing the bark, we are destroying places for invasive insects and fungi to live. Since each country has different regulations on insects and fungi it’s necessary to perform heat treating on all products ready for export.
The Heat Treat Mark is our HT quality mark that is applied to individual pieces of lumber. This is used by facilities that manufacture and re-manufacture lumber. This mark states that the lumber has met or exceeded the 56/30 HT requirement. The marks should all be legible. Each piece of lumber is required to be marked at least one time per piece except when pieces are:
- 30” or less in length,
- ½” or less in thickness,
- 2” or less in width in which case the HT or KD HT mark shall be applied to 25% of the pieces of the unit and the unit shall also be stenciled with the same information provided on the mark
Wood Product Heat Treating
Wood products include pallets, skids and crates. A different HT mark is required for these products. Our IPPC HT mark ensures that the assembled wood products have received the heat treating necessary for export. This also means that the wood packaging material (WPM) have met or exceeded the 56/30 rule of ISPM 15. This marking needs to be visible on two opposite sides of the product but it is not required on each individual component. All marking must be in black ink and legible. Other color options (such as red) are not permitted for the IPPC HT Mark.
Dunnage Heat Treating
This mark is applied to pieces of material being used in a prescribed dunnage application. Dunnage is defined as WPM used to support a commodity during transit but generally does not remain associated with the commodity to its final destination. Some examples of dunnage include: blocking, bracing, chocking, etc. This mark identifies the dunnage as meeting the 56/30 heat treatment requirement of ISPM 15. When dunnage that is to be cut to other sizes is marked, it should be stamped every 2 feet. Each piece of dunnage shall be marked with at least one mark. All marks shall be legible and in black ink. Once again, the use of orange or red ink is not permitted.