Are Heat Treated Pallets Important For Shipping?

Heat treated pallets – you may have heard this term before from your boss. Your head office may have instructed you to get your pallets fit for export and that could’ve prompted you to search for ways to make that happen.

Alternatively, someone in the shipping industry or a broker might have mentioned the term to you. Perhaps you haven’t heard of ‘heat treated pallets’, specifically but rather ‘certified pallets’ or ‘IPSM 15’ or ‘overseas certified’. In any case, these terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

So what exactly are heat treated pallets? And are they important for shipping the products you absolutely NEED to protect? This post explains all.

International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15)

The International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) was developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The International Plant Protection Convention is overseen by the Food and Agriculture Organization. This organization was formed to protect plants and plant products from pests and infestations. Global trade has made it more important than ever to prevent contamination across borders. Currently the Convention has 178 United Nation member states including the European Union that has a population of 500 million inhabitants.

The Oxford Dictionary defines phytosanitary as “relating to the health of plants, especially with respect to the requirements of international trade.” The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) states “a Phytosanitary Certificate is an official document issued by the plant protection organization of the exporting country to the plant protection organization of the importing country. The certificate guarantees goods and products are free from injurious pests.

A-1 Pallet complies with the Canadian Wood Packaging Certification Program (CWPCP) when it comes to Phytosanitary standards.

Wood Pest Contaminants

The following wood pest contaminants are the most common insects listed on the Pest Control Canada website.

1. Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum)

This insect measures 1.5 mm in diameter, the female can lay up to 80 eggs in the crevices and cracks of wood. The furniture beetle damages softwood and hardwoods by digesting cellulose.

2. Death Watch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum)

This round beetle measures 3 mm in diameter. The larvae is usually found in decaying oak. The female can lay up to 200 eggs with a life cycle of four years of less. The Death Watch Beetle usually attacks hardwood but can also be found in softwood timbers.

3. Wood boring weevil (Euophryum confine)

This 1.5 mm insect is similar to the Common Furniture Beetle. This beetle feeds off timber wood.

4. House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes bajulus)

This 25 mm long beetle is extremely destructive to softwoods where it lays eggs. When consuming wood an oval flight hole is left behind that can measure up to 10 mm long and 6 mm wide. The female beetle can lay up to 200 eggs.

Heat Treatment Standards

real heat treated pallet stampIn the Canadian Wood Packaging Certification Program, lumber used in the manufacturing of certified products must be heat treated (HT). The heat treating process involves heating wood to a minimum internal temperature of 56 degrees celsius for at least 30 minutes. Although the CFIA’s Technical Heat Treatment Guidelines and Operations Manual (PI-07) is currently under review, the PI-07 manual is still the standard in Canada for the heat treatment of lumber.

Pallets made from heat treated lumber must have the The Canadian Heat Treated Wood Products Certification Program (CHTWPCP) mark on each wood bundle.heat treated pallet stamp

The CA in the picture stands for Canada as the country of origin. The 00440 numbers indicate the registered mill facility (A-1 Pallet Enterprises) the wooden product came from. The HT indicates heat treatment. The IPPC is the acronym for the International Plant Protection Convention, an organization to prevent plant pests and contamination. All aspects listed on the stamp must be present for certification.

Products Shipped On Heat Treated Pallets

Heat treated pallets have the added value of preventing wooden pests and fungi contamination in goods and products. Supply Chain Management companies who comply with IPCC regulations do not have the added worry of having their shipments delayed at port, or fined and destroyed when exported to different countries. Manufacturers shipping nationally often prefer to ship their products on heat treated pallets that are clean and free from pests and traceable to the originating mill.

Heat Treated or Green Lumber?

Businesses can purchase certifiable (HT lumber) pallets or non-certifiable (green lumber) pallets. Facilities following the CWPCP program must segregate their green lumber raw material from their certified HT lumber.

Be sure to engage with companies that purchase both types of lumber. Why? This is so that you have options. Maybe you’re shipping internationally or exporting overseas – in this case, you should be using heat treated lumber. Pallet options built from green lumber should only be purchased if you’re shipping locally, nationally or if the pallets are being used internally.

The A-1 Difference

Businesses that purchase certifiable products from A-1 Pallet have the peace of mind of getting a quality product that is traceable from its wood source. We purchase HT lumber from various Canadian mills and we record and trace the mill certification numbers internally. We stamp our HT “CA-00440” stamp on both sides of the product knowing that every piece of raw material used is traceable and recorded; we then record the information on the customers packing slip and invoice, records are kept on file for the minimum required timeline stated by the CWPCP.

In order to provide our customers with the best possible solutions for their shipping needs we ask questions to find out how to give our customers the best possible options to choose from; to fit their manufacturing machinery, their products, their storage abilities and finally their shipping destinations and shipping functions.


Heat treated lumber– and therefore, heat treated pallets– have a number of benefits and the main one remains: to protect the integrity of the contents being shipped. No one wants pests and no one wants contamination. Be sure to consider heat treated pallets for your next shipment.

For more information on pallets (including heat treated pallets), call an A-1 Pallet Representative at 604 857-1996.

Liked this blog post? Stay tuned for more informational posts like this one.

About the Author:

Sarah Barrell is the Operations Manager of A-1 Pallet Enterprises; founded

by the Barrell family in 1997. Sarah has been dedicated to creating

harmony in her business; focusing & learning how to be more effective &

efficient and supporting A-1 Pallet’s vision of providing Shipping Solutions

& Peace of Mind. You can connect with her on Google+.

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