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Combatting ISPM 15 Mark Fraud

28 Apr 2015

ISPM15 is the industry standard regarding wooden pallets. The regulations state that all wooden pallets must be heat-treated prior to use and have an ISPM15 mark to show they comply. This proves that the wood has been heat-treated appropriately and is free of pest infestations. The process can be costly, and this has led to some suppliers carrying out fraudulent practices, including the use of marks on untreated products.

Failure to Comply

A recent case in the US was brought against a pallet company for mark fraud. The company involved, and its former owner, pleaded guilty to the charges and were fined $100,000 for knowingly using ISPM15 stamps on pallets that hadn’t been treated properly. This is the largest fine that has been handed down under the Plant Protection Act with regards to wooden pallets.

The company involved placed stamps on wooden pallets to indicate that they complied with ISPM15 regulations when in fact they didn’t. The wooden pallets were then used to transport goods overseas from the US, contravening the regulations. They were also sold to a number of other companies that believed that they were purchasing legitimate pallets.

The action was brought against the company by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ). The company and owner were charged with crimes relating to the use of false certificate stamps. Both of these organisations are working together to take action against suppliers who contravene the Plant Protection Act. The USDA is the National Plant Protection Organisation of the US and has put together an export programme that guarantees compliance with any of the import requirements of other countries.

Ensuring Compliance

When you’re purchasing wooden pallets, you want to be sure that the products you’re getting have been heat-treated correctly and are safe to use. At Associated Pallets we have our own kiln on-site. This enables us to monitor the heat-treatment of pallets and ensure that the process is carried out in the correct manner. It means we can guarantee our customers that the wooden pallets we supply are fit for purpose and comply with ISPM15 regulations. As part of this process, we supply all our pallet customers with a certificate to prove heat-treatment, along with a graph that shows the process of treatment the pallet has undergone.

When you’re purchasing wooden pallets, it is vital that you check if they have been treated appropriately. They must carry the correct mark, and you can ask your supplier to provide a certificate to guarantee this.

The ISPM15 regulations are an important aspect of the wooden pallet industry. With the increase in global trade, this is a vital element that eliminates the risk of pest infestations and ensures that all wooden pallets are fit for purpose. It’s important that any companies found to be flouting these rules are dealt with accordingly, as this sends out a clear message to other suppliers that it’s not worth trying to get round the law.

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