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Identifying ISPM15 Demarcation

21 Jan 2015

The ISPM15 standards are an important way of ensuring that all wooden pallets you use have been correctly heat-treated before they come on to the market. At Associated Pallets we treat our pallets on-site so that they meet the standards and we mark them accordingly. The marks indicate clearly that the pallets comply with the regulations and are safe to use.

Understanding the marks that are used to signify compliance can be difficult. Here is some information on the methods that are used to mark pallets and how you can easily verify them. This should help you spot any fakes and prevent pest infestations occurring.

The Types of Pallet Marks

Rubber stamps are probably one of the most popular means of marking wooden pallets. This is also an exceptionally easy and cost-effective method, which is why it is used so regularly. Once the pallet has been stamped, it will have a clear image that is visible to anyone who needs to check compliance. As pallets are usually used in dusty settings, the stamp needs to be kept clean so that it continually shows a clear mark. As there is a need to stamp each individual pallet, this can be a slow procedure. It is also necessary to exert the right degree of pressure to produce a solid impression.

Another option for marking pallets that comply with the ISPM15 regulations is to use a stencil. The stencil is custom-made using a laser cutter and can be reused. It is placed on a pallet and then paint or ink is used to create the mark. Stencilling is an affordable means of marking pallets but, as with stamping, it is not a quick method. However, if the work is carried out correctly, it will produce a clear mark.

Branding is an effective method of marking pallets, but there is a requirement to invest in the right equipment. This method uses a metal die that is heated to an extremely high temperature and pushed on to the pallet. This burns the mark on to it and creates a durable and visible sign. The dies are custom-made but will last for a number of years.

Authenticity of Marks

Just because a wooden pallet looks as if it complies with the ISPM15 regulations, it doesn’t mean that the markings are valid. All marks must be approved, so you should be able to easily check that the pallets you’re using are not fakes. There are some simple and effective ways in which you can validate the marks on your pallets.

When you’re checking that the ISPM15 mark is valid, you need to ensure that there is an IPPC symbol and country, producer, treatment source and treatment codes. All the marks are either square or rectangular and have a border. There needs to be a line in between the codes and the IPPC symbol. There is no set size for ISPM15 marks, but they have to be clearly visible. The markings should be legible, durable and not drawn by hand.

If you are ever in any doubt as to the authenticity of the pallets you’re using, then you can verify a mark by contacting the relevant certification agency.

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