What is ISPM 15 and Why is it Important in Crating Services?

Our lumber for our crating services adheres to the ISPM standards.

When browsing our site you may have come across our commitment to and compliance of the ISPM 15 standard. As a shipping and crating professional we take great care to ensure that all of the lumber used in our crating services does not contribute to the spread of invasive insect species.

Invasive insect species are a destructive force that can cause irreparable environmental damage. Prime examples of this are the Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Longhorned Beetle. Most of these species’ introduction to the environment can be traced back to shipments of untreated wood used in packing materials.

What is an Invasive Species?

An invasive species is a type of insect that is moved into an area that it is not natively born into. Because it is brought to a new habitat, this insect is typically free of predators that serve to keep the population of the insect down and limit the damage that it does to plants in the area. Frequently these insects are brought into a new environment by hitching a ride on products that are shipped into the area.

Who is the IPPC?

To combat this environmental threat, a board called the International Plant Protection Convention was established in order to protect plants both wild and cultivated from the introduction of invasive species. The convention protects all sorts of plants, including cultivated flowers, natural plants, and hardwood and softwood forests.

In order to combat the spread of invasive species, the IPPC came up with an international standard to cover anything that these insects could use to transport from one area to another including aircraft, ships, shipping containers, storage areas, soil and other objects.


ISPM 15 is a standard titled “Regulation of Wood Packaging Material in International Trade”. The IPPC established this standard and over 150 countries have adopted its use. The global community recognized that with an increase of global trade, there was a need to establish a way to ensure that shipping materials would not spread invasive species.

ISPM 15 covers the proper treatment, fumigation and construction of wooden crating materials in order to reduce the threat of insects being carried along.

In order to comply with ISPM 15, all wood products must be treated in one of two ways:

  • Chemical treatment with a substance called methyl bromide to all solid wood components.
  • Heat treatment for solid wood components.

Heat treatment requires that each solid wood component that is used in the construction of a crate be exposed to a minimum temperature of 56 C (130 F) for thirty minutes. Crate components like particle board or flake board are exempt from this requirement due to the fact that these materials are already subjected to this type of heat treatment in their creation.

All shipping materials and crates created by Cratex Industrial Packing Ltd. are compliant with the ISPM 15 standard and can be used safely in international shipping. Look at our crate construction services today for more details.