When choosing a packaging option for goods that will be shipped to neighbouring countries, honeycomb fibreboard manufacturer Kimmo Packaging director Jan Vreken says it is essential to look for a packaging option that is International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No 15 (ISPM-15) compliant or ISPM-15 exempt.
The Kimmo Pallets and Kimmo Bins – made from honeycomb fibreboard technology – are risk free and more easier to use. Vreken explains that the Kimmo Bin is essentially a fibreboard crate that provides a viable and cost-effective alternative to wooden crates. He adds that Kimmo Pallets are a stronger and lightweight pallet option which is suited to air freight.
“Wooden pallets and wooden crates are used as packaging solutions when transporting goods but these wooden packaging formats may not meet international regulations when goods cross country borders,” explains Vreken, adding that ISPM-15 is a regulation geared towards wooden packaging.
The regulation stipulates that all wood with a thickness greater than 6 mm that is transported across broader must be debarked and heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromides, as well as stamped or branded with a mark of compliance.
He points out that it is necessary to always abide by regulations when transporting goods with wooden packaging as it can be easily contaminated by bacteria, such as ecoli and salmonella, inhabited with insects and pests. These bacteria can be harmful towards the health of people consuming the goods stored in the wooden package while insects and pests spread diseases and negatively affect plants or ecosystems in neighbouring countries.
Vreken explains that apart from additional costs and inconvenience, making wooden crates and pallets ISPM-15 compliant can have a few negative consequences.
Heat treating wood can make it brittle and weak, while fumigating it with methyl bromide is undesirable. “Methyl bromide is a highly toxic, ozone depleting material that is corrosive to the skin and eyes, and has an unpleasant mouldy odour.”
Therefore, methyl bromide cannot be used to treat pallets used to transport food and pharmaceuticals.
He says a huge downside to making wooden packaging ISPM-15 compliant is the risk, as once treated, wooden packaging needs to be transported with a phytosanitary certificate and stamped with the ISPM-15 mark of compliance.
“Goods can be quarantined if the certificate is missing or has expired and if the stamp is illegible, missing or incorrect,” Vreken states.
Quarantine not only adds a significant cost to the shipment of goods but the delay in the delivery of goods can annoy customers and damage a company’s image.