ISPM 15 WPM Clarification

General ISPM 15 and ALSC Enforcement Clarification

General Bark Restriction Information

Bark restriction Terminology

Debarked Wood DefinitionPhotos

Bark Free Wood DefinitionPhotos

General ISPM 15 and ALSC Enforcement Clarification

  • Wood packaging produced within the United States for shipment internationally is subject to international and domestic rules and regulations.
  • The most commonly discussed rules include heat treatment or fumigation of lumber used in wood packaging.
  • The material also needs to be debarked and marked with a certification stamp.
  • Producers of wood packaging material that wish to stamp their own wood packaging must be audited monthly by an independent inspection agency such as Timber Products Inspection.

General Bark Restriction Information

htstampAll 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, fumigate (with Methyl Bromide), 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). AQIS and Australia no longer enforce their Bark Free standard, opting to conform with the rest of the world’s debarked standard.

US to Canada Shipments

  • UPDATE: Trans-border shipments in the US and Canada will likely require debarking or IPPC stamps in 2017, although the exemption has no officially scheduled end date. Timber Creek recommends conforming to 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:

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:

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)

ALSC Wood Packaging Material Enforcement US