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Package Research Laboratory – Inspection and Certification with a Focus On Information, Knowledge, and Service
Package Research Laboratory: Established wood and pallet certification agency launches new Wood Tracker and Customer Center on its Website. Online portal provides extensive information and videos designed to educate customers about how best to comply with ISPM-15 regulations.
By Dr. Ed Brindley
Date Posted: 6/1/2010
ISPM 15 Inspection Basics at
Of course, most of our readers are interested in the phytosanitary treatment for wooden pallets and containers. It stands to reason that since
Under these guidelines, all wood packaging material destined for any of the over 130 participating member nations must be certified as either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide. If you buy heat treated lumber for use in any wood packaging product, you must be certified, inspected and your product be properly stamped with the WPM stamp.
Package Research Laboratory serves as a third party auditor of the treatment process for the benefit of its wood packaging clients and provides the appropriate certification stamp necessary for overseas acceptance.
David Dixon, president of Packaging Research Laboratory, said “We are not just another inspection agency that gives clients a once a month inspection service. Our focus is on informational services. Our new Wood Tracker program on our web site assists customers in tracking incoming and outgoing lumber and pallets (Display 1). Our new videos are to the point and informative; soon we expect to upgrade their quality and completeness (Display 2).
Revitalized Web Site –
In preparation for an inspection,
An inspector is looking for a number of things. Is there a person in your company who is the appointed contact to oversee the necessary records for each inspection? Are the WPM stamps properly used and stored? Is there a place in your yard where treated lumber is kept separate from untreated lumber? Are your products properly stamped? Is the amount of treated wood purchased less than the amount of treated wood used for stamped products?
If you fail an inspection, a written report will be submitted to you outlining what non-compliant issues were found during the inspection and what steps need to be taken to bring your facility into compliance. If
Pallets and containers should be marked on two opposite faces in such a way that it is easily viewable by customs inspectors, who will inspect your products at ports around the world. For lumber, each individual piece of lumber must be HT stamped at least once if it is to be used in the ISPM 15 program.
Last September, a new stamp format was released. See (Display 3) for the new representative stamp format and the three stamps involved in the ISPM 15 certification program.
The Debarking Requirement
What about debarking of wood packaging material? The revised ISPM 15 requires all stamped WPMs to be manufactured from debarked wood. The Debark Regulation requires that any number of separate and clearly distinctive small pieces of bark is 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 sq. centimeters (approximately the size of a credit card). Bark is considered to be the outer layer of a woody trunk, branch or root outside of 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.
For more information about Packaging Research Laboratory and the treatment of pallets and packaging, call David Dixon, president of
WPM Tricks of the Trade
Package Research Laboratory has five new brief videos on its updated web site, http://www.package-testing.com/ispm-15-Help-Videos.html. Initially,
1. Acceptable Stamp – A wooden pallet or box must be stamped twice on opposite sides. A focus on stamp quality shows common problems such as a partial stamp, missing borders, double impressions, and blurred images.
2. Repaired Pallets – In the United States, any stamp used for certification must be totally removed from a pallet that has experienced any repairs, including reconfiguration, rebuilding, or changes. A variety of methods can be used to remove an old stamp, including grinding, sanding, ink coverage, spray paint, and brushes. Black spray paint is often used, but it can present problems due to bleed through. It takes less paint if gold paint is used, and its coverage is better.
3. Stamp Maintenance – Bad stamps should be turned in.
4. Bark Removed –
5. Heat Chamber Thermocouples – Probes should be carefully placed in the end of the largest wood component. Drill the center of the largest wood component as deep as the thickness of that piece. Make certain the probes feel snug. Seal it in with a generous amount of any non-conductive material, such as plumbers’ putty.
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing in regard to the excellent service we have received from Package Research Laboratory.
Recently our representatives from
I would highly recommend
Sincerely, Tim Middlekauff, Pres. - Conner Sawmill