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ISPM 15 Bark Restriction Clarification

*Please link to this page if you find it useful*

General Bark Restriction Information
Bark restriction Terminology
Debarked Wood Definition - Photos
Bark Free Wood Definition - Photos

General Bark Restriction InformationIPPC HT Stamp

All IPPC HT stamped wood packaging and dunnage leaving Timber Creek Resource is debarked and heat treated to the meet the revised ISPM 15 standards.

ISPM 15-2009 Revision

  • ISPM 15, revised in June 2009 has been updated to include a bark restriction not previously in the standard.
  • All ISPM 15 countries may: reject, heat treat, debark, or destroy your exported packaging and/or products at your cost! All wood packaging MUST meet or exceed the new debarked standard.
  • The definitions for “bark free” and “debarked” have been updated to match ISPM 15 and AQIS definitions (see below).

US to Canada Shipments

  • UPDATE: Trans-border shipments in the US and Canada will likely require debarking or HT stamps in 2011, although the exemption has no officially scheduled end date. Timber Creek recommends the ISPM 15 standard on all shipments to Canada.

Australia Shipments

Bark Restriction Terminology

  • Debarked means "visually separate and clearly distinct small pieces of bark may remain" within the specifications set forth by a 2009 revision to ISPM 15 Annex.
  • Bark Free means "Zero tolerance for bark"

The official definition of debarked wood is provided below:

Irrespective of the type of treatment applied, wood packaging material must be made of debarked wood. For this standard, any number of visually separate and clearly distinct small pieces of bark may remain if they are: - less than 3 cm in width (regardless of the length) or - greater than 3 cm in width, with the total surface area of an individual piece of bark less than 50 square cm.”  [per the Revised ISPM 15 Annex 1]

Debarked Wood Photos

The official definition of bark free wood is provided below:

This definition was created by Australia, however, effective July 1, 2010, Australia no longer requires this level of bark restriction. Instead, Australia has adopted the international standard set forth by the 2009 revision of ISMP 15 Annex 1

“...ZERO tolerance for bark on timber packaging and dunnage. Bark is the external natural growth layer covering trees and branches...bark around knots, bark pockets between rings of annual growth, and inclusions in the vascular cambium are difficult to remove. However these have the potential to harbor quarantine risk materials such as fungal spores, fungal decays and insects.” [per Australia’s AQIS Website]

Bark Free Wood Photos

Internal Links to Additional Bark Restriction Information

Timber Creek Resource "ISPM 15 Exempt Alternatives" Whitepaper

Bark Free Lumber Photos

Debarked Lumber Photos

External Links to Additional Bark Restriction Information

Official ISPM 15 Revision

ISPM 15 Participating Country List (From Timber Products)

Australia's Bark Free Restriction (AQIS Website) - OUTDATED!

Australia's Adoption of ISPM 15 Announcement (AQIS Website) - NEW!