For companies that are not IPPC ISPM 15 certified to manufacture wood packaging items out of solid wood material for export purposes, such as pallets, crates, boxes, or skids, and only require IPPC-stamped items a few times a year, NELMA’s On-Demand IPPC ISPM 15 Stamping Service may be the answer to your needs. This service is available to facilities where full facility certification is not economically justifiable and the need for IPPC-stamped wood packaging is required typically less than 6 times per calendar year (Each occurrence requires NELMA notification and approval). (Note: For detailed information regarding the IPPC ISPM 15 Standard for Wood Packaging please refer to NELMA’s Wood Packaging Inspection Program online page).
The use of NELMA’s On-Demand service will require advance planning and preparation by a facility. Please note that NELMA cannot IPPC stamp export wood packaging items already constructed prior to requesting a stamping service.
Contact NELMA (207-829-6901) for questions about our On-Demand IPPC ISPM 15 Stamping Service, including inspection fees and full details on the process and procedures, along with any additional information that you may need.
Here’s a step-by-step outline on how it all works:
Step 1: Obtain and complete a Request for Wood Packaging Stamping Service (View/Print Request Form). This one-page form will require the company’s address and contact information along with specific details regarding the construction of export wood packaging items at the facility. These specifics include:
- Type of wood packaging that will be constructed (pallet, box, crate, skid, etc.),
- Approximate final size and quantities of the wood packaging to be constructed,
- Purchased lumber/ timber sizes and quantity of each item (See important Invoice information below),
- The name of the Agency listed on the grade stamp or Heat Treatment (HT) stamp on each lumber/timber size purchased along with mill number or name. (See important Purchased HT Lumber Verification information below),
- Close-up photos of each unique agency stamp on each size of lumber/timbers purchased (Note: If the same agency logo is stamped on multiple pieces of the same size, only one photo is necessary),
- Estimated date of completion of ALL export wood packaging items requested to be IPPC stamped.
Step 2: The one-page Request for Wood Packaging Stamping Service form AND all photos of agency stamps are forwarded to the NELMA Office. The form and copies of the photos may be sent together via fax (207-829-4293), or the photos may be emailed separately from the Request if it’s more convenient for the facility.
Step 3: Upon receipt of the Request and Agency Photos, the information will be reviewed and the facility contact will be telephoned or emailed to either grant approval to the facility to begin construction of the export wood packaging items listed, or obtain additional information in order for the approval process to be completed
Step 4: Upon approval, NELMA’s HQ Office will forward a Lumber/Timber Usage Report that will be completed by the facility during the export wood packaging construction process. Click here to view/print a copy of this document that the facility will use to track the actual quantity of lumber/timbers used in final construction. (Note: This completed form will be provided to the NELMA Inspector for use during the inspection visit).
Step 5: NELMA’s HQ Office will alert the Inspector assigned to the Request and provide a copy of all information provided with the Request, for reference. The NELMA Inspector will then contact the facility directly to discuss the estimated date of completion of ALL export wood packaging items and schedule the inspection visit to complete the IPPC stamping process.
- The NELMA’s Inspector will attempt to schedule the visit as soon as possible after the export wood packaging has been completed by the facility; dependent upon the Inspector’s previously scheduled activities.
- The final decision to stamp the export wood packaging with the proper NELMA IPPC stamp rests with the NELMA inspector after inspection of all required documentation outlined above and materials used in construction.
Step 6: NELMA’s HQ Office will forward a letter to the facility contact that summarizes the inspection services provided and details of the completed export wood packaging items stamped with the appropriate NELMA IPPC stamp. An invoice for services will be included in this final mailing.
Additional Important Information and Notes:
Lumber Invoices/Bills of Lading and Inventory: Invoices/bills of lading must be saved for all heat treated lumber/timbers purchased for export wood packaging construction. Each invoice/bill of lading must notate HT or “Heat Treated” as part of the item description, with originals or copies required as part of the final documentation. Lumber received for this project must be kept separately from other wood materials inventoried within the facility that will not be used in export wood packaging construction.
Verification that the LumberTimber was Heat Treated (HT): Each piece of lumber/timber purchased for use in constructing export wood packaging items must be identified as heat treated which is indicated with the letters HT or KDHT on the material. Typically these letters are included within the lumber/timber grade stamp but may be a separate stamp as well, either on the flat surface or either end of the piece The logo of an accredited ALSC overview agency and a mill number/name must also be included with the stamp. Important Note: If additional heat treated lumber is needed to complete the project after approval to build is received from NELMA, photos of the stamps on the new lumber must be sent to the NELMA office for verification and approval prior to its use.
Lumber/Timber Purchasing Watch List:
- Bark Limitation: The ISPM 15 Standard limits the amount of bark that may remain on lumber and timbers used in the manufacture of export wood packaging. These restrictions state that the bark, (1) Must be Less than 3 cm in width (regardless of length), or (2) If greater than 3 cm in width, the total surface area of an individual piece must be less than 50 cm². We recommend removal of ALL bark from the surface of lumber to be used in constructing wood packaging units.
- Blue Stain: Watch for patches of discoloration on the surface of lumber/timbers, usually dark blue or gray in color. While this is not offically an issue with the IPPC ISPM 15 Standard, several countries have been known to hold shipments at the port for closer examination or rejection for entry when blue-stained lumber/timbers have been used in the shipping unit. Read NELMA’s full article with blue stain images here for details.
- Visible Insect Holes: Avoid purchasing lumber that has visible signs of surface evidence of insects. This is most commonly pin holes on the surface or obvious insect larvae damage that has been done in the living tree before processing. Even though it’s highly unlikely that insects remain in the lumber or timbers after being heat treated or kiln-dried, any surface evidence in a packaging unit’s solid wood material can pique a custom agent’s curiosity and give reason for them to hold an entire shipment on the dock!
Ability to Inspect the Completed Export Wood Packaging Items: If boxes or crates are constructed, they must remain open without product inside to complete the inspection and stamping process. Boxes will not be stamped if they are closed. In addition, each built unit (box, crate, pallet, etc.) needs to be separated or easily separated to facilitate the inspection and IPPC stamping of each item.
Please contact NELMA at any time for information.