ISPM 15 Update - September, 2009

New Stamp Format

As you know the stamp for the ISPM-15 program has been re-formatted. To the left you will see a sample of this new format. We have had numerous questions about the new numbering system. The 11 on the new stamp is the Agency code (11=PRL) and the other 3 or 4 numbers are the Facility code. As new stamps are ordered they will be made in this new format. All old format stamps will continue to be accepted.

Debarking of Wood Packaging Material (WPM)

The revised ISPM 15 requires all stamped WPMs be manufactured from debarked wood. The Debark Regulation requires that any number of separate and clearly distinctive small pieces of bark are acceptable under the following conditions:

  1. Less than 3 centimeters (1-1/8”) in width regardless of the length of the patch.
  2. Greater than 3 centimeters in width and the total area of the bark patch must be less than 50 square centimeters (approximately the size of a credit card).

Bark is considered the “outer layer of a woody trunk, branch or root outside the cambium layer”. Pieces of bark covering several faces of a wood component must be measured widthwise from edge to edge of each patch. Excessive bark can be scraped or stripped from the wood components.

During PRL inspections there is a zero tolerance to bark exceeding these levels. As a result of this new regulation many of our clients have had products held and sent back to the manufacturer for failing to comply. Also, there have been an increased number of re-inspections due to bark not being compliant. Again, this regulation is for all products with the WPM mark. (Australia and New Zealand require bark free WPM.)