ISPM 15 Approved Pallets Guaranteed Free of Bugs; Shipments Flow Through Customs

Lincoln Electric, a Cleveland-based manufacturer of arc welding machines and consumables, is using Inca presswood pallets from Litco International ( to comply with export shipping requirements for pallets to be free of bark and insects.

“In the past, our shipments to Europe were sometimes held up for inspection,” says Tom Soster, manufacturing engineering manager for Lincoln Electric. “Now, the presswood pallets flow right through.”

Manufactured using an environmentally responsible process that molds wood waste and wood byproducts under high heat and pressure, the pallets are easy to use and hassle-free for exporting because they are ISPM 15 approved wood packaging and guaranteed free of bugs, bark and mold.

As a side benefit, the wooden export pallets complement Lincoln Electric’s initiatives to stay lean and green: Since Inca pallets are both nestable and earned a silver Cradle to Cradle certification from MBDC (, they free up valuable dock space that was previously dedicated to pallet storage and the pallets can be recycled at the end of their life. “Like most responsible organizations, Lincoln Electric is concerned about sustainability,” says Soster. “Presswood pallets are making us more green.”

In addition to meeting European shipping requirements, Inca pallets comply with a new proposal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) to remove the exemption from ISMP 15 on wood packaging material moving between Canada and the United States in both directions beginning in 2011.

“If adopted, the proposal will have a significant impact on shipments on pallets,” says Gary Sharon, vice president, Litco International, North America’s leading source for presswood pallets.

Currently, pallets move back and forth between Canada and the United States without the special treatment that’s required under ISPM 15, the regulation that applies to wood products shipped into most other countries. Beginning in spring 2011, there will be a period of “informed compliance.” During this time, wood packaging material that is not treated will be allowed to enter. However, the carrier will be notified that wood packaging will be required to comply once ISPM 15 is fully implemented.

“What is important for shippers to be concerned with now is that during the ‘informed compliance’ period, if infestation is found, then loads will either be refused or treatment required prior to entering. This can result in penalties due to shipping delays and a high cost to treat the load or extra freight expenses to return. For companies shipping back and forth between Canada and the U.S., now is the time for shippers to implement simple solutions such as Inca pallets and avoid unnecessary costs,” says Sharon.

For more information on the export-approved Inca pallet, including available sizes and order quantities, visit

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