ISPM 15 Heat Treatment

Pallets are the cornerstone of the shipping industry. They facilitate the efficient movement of millions of items every day.

However, these vital components can harbour hidden dangers such as pests, contaminants and disease so therefore need to be treated to reduce the risk of these spreading through global shipping.

That’s why ISPM 15 was introduced.


ISPM 15 stands for International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15. This policy documents the guidelines to help humans, animals and plants from contaminates, pests or diseases around the world.

The sole purpose of ISPM 15 is to limit the spread of these harmful pests and contaminants being spread through the use of wooden pallets in the shipping industry. It applies to any shipping material made of coniferous and non-coniferous raw wood.

The policy details three methods in which wooden materials can be treated to eradicate the associated risks, those are:

  • Heat Treatment
  • Kiln Drying
  • Methyl bromide (MB) fumigation for wood packaging material

There are strict regulations for each of these approaches which ensures that pests, diseases and contaminants are all eradicated.

In this article, we are going to focus on Heat Treatment, since that’s where our expertise lies as Temperature Control experts.

Heat Treating Pallets

To ensure the eradication of the dangers that lurk inside a pallet or wooden packaging, the items should be heated with the core temperature reached 56ºC. Once this heat is achieved, it is required to be maintained for 30minutes to ensure the pest, bacteria and contaminants are completely killed off.

Heating for this duration at the specified temperature ensures all threats are eradicated while maintaining the commercial viability of the heated packaging. Packaging can be treated in plants or kilns, and routine inspections need to be made to ensure the efficiency of this process.

Why is this important?

Last year the UK crashed out of the EU. In the wake of Brexit distributors were told that all timber packaging would now have to meet with the stringent EU Guidelines and be treated to meet ISPM15.

At the time it was estimated that fewer than a third of pallets used for EU-UK trade complied with the standard. The introduction of this standard means that all freight going into the EU from the UK will need to be on a heat-treated pallet. This problem with this is that the UK doesn’t have the capacity to heat treat the volume of pallets here in the UK.

This problem, need an efficient solution, and that’s where CRS comes in.

CRS Temperature - Controlled Hot Boxes

CRS has identified this issue facing distributors operating in the shipping industry between the UK and the EU.

We have confronted this issue head-on and feel we have a solution that will be of benefit to many distributors across the company who are stuck with a huge number of untreated pallets they are unable to use. CRS provides a wide range of temperature-controlled storage solutions, one of which being our Heated Stores, or Hot Boxes.

With these stores, your and heat and maintain the high temperature needed to ensure all dangers are eradicated from pallets and wooden packaging with controlled temperature up to +60ºC.

The consistent warm temperature is achieved by using a forced air circulation system with electric element heaters discharging up to 40KW of heated air into the insulated chamber.

  • Temperature controlled environment of up to +60ºC
  • Entirely weatherproof and designed for external use
  • Man trapped emergency stop alarms for operator safety
  • Specialised high-temperature Interior lighting for safety and convenience
  • High-quality build specification with easy-open doors and non-slip floors
  • Digital air temperature controllers with alarms in the event of a variation
  • Ex-rated (spark-free) equipment available on request
  • Easy-clean, stainless steel interiors.

At CRS you can be sure of receiving a first-rate product suitable for the task at hand. We can guarantee first-use of brand-new equipment if required, alternatively, we have an extensive range of refurbished units available for hire or purchase.

At CRS our temperature-controlled solutions are available for hire or purchase, featuring flexible hire period with very competitive prices.

If you’re looking for a solution to put your stock of pallets back in action, and increase efficiency across your supply chain, then contact CRS for a competitive quote.

Thursday 17th September 2020

Published by: CRS Cold Storage

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