There’s More to Protecting Your Shipments than You May Know

It’s not only important “how” the shipping containers and packaging that will carry, support and protect your item is manufactured, but it’s also very important “from what” material they are produced.  From standard pallets to large solid boxes, the wood used to construct the packaging enclosure must meet specific inspection criteria.  This is where the USDA in our country joins the shipping and freight hauling team.


We meet all ISPM 15 requirements for certified safe packaging materials.  The ISPM (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures) provides these guidelines.

Implementation of Wood Packaging Material Regulation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has revised its import regulation for solid wood packaging material (WPM). The revised regulation is consistent with the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM): Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade (ISPM Publication No. 15) and restricts the importation of many types of wooden packaging materials, such as pallets, crates, boxes, and dunnage.

If you have questions concerning this issue, feel free to call our offices any time and we’ll be happy to explain these requirements too you.  We can also show you examples of the stamps to look for when inspecting packaging material yourself.

Here’s some questions your shipping agents would ask.  There’s a lot more to ensuring the safety of your shipments information found on the Lee Consulting Inspection Services websites:

Frequently Asked Questions

My wood doesn't have HT stamps on it, but my supplier gave me a document that says it was heat-treated. Is that OK?

No, each full-sized piece used in the program must have an HT or KDHT mark issued by an agency accredited or recognized by the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) on it, regardless of documentation. ALSC overviews the program through agreement with the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

I bought pressure-treated wood. Is it acceptable in the export program?

The program doesn't recognize pressure-treated wood, but it can be used IF it has HT marks from the producer of the lumber, like any other acceptable wood.

I used HT-marked wood for building my package and marked it with my export stamp, but none of the original HT marks show on the package. Is that OK?

Yes, the original marks do not have to show on the package, provided the full-length pieces did have the marks.

I recycle pallets. Can recycled pallets with the export stamp be reused for export?

The original export marks are good indefinitely, provided no wood has been replaced. Pallets that have been repaired or otherwise reworked must have the old marks obliterated, and pallets must be retreated and remarked to be resold as export pallets.

I bought 2" lumber and had it ripped before delivery to 1" thick, so the original stamp only shows on half of the pieces. Is it OK to use this wood in the program?

Only pieces bearing the marks on receipt can be used in the program, and the unmarked half must be separated from the marked half. You can request that your supplier restamp the other side so that you can use all of it.


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