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International Standards for Fumigation

There are 2 major international standards for fumigation procedures implemented to govern the quarantine services to exporting countries. They are ISPM 15 and AQIS standard. The ISPM 15 standard applies to all countries exporting to any country while AQIS standard applies to all countries exporting to Australia.

These standards prescribe the technical specifications of fumigation work which the fumigator has to adhere to. When taken together with the criterion exercised by local Quarantine officials, these act as the basis of a system to appraise the condition of incoming cargo and whether they pose any quarantine threat.

Exporters are responsible for ensuring the fumigated status of their goods at the time of export, and the suitability of the freight containers they have chosen to embark their goods abroad.

At Rentokil, our licensed fumigators are trained to provide the treatment service according to the Standards. Our competent fumigator can advise exporters on how best to reduce the risk of pest infestation in the goods.

What is ISPM 15?

International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, Publication No.15 (ISPM 15) is the compliance guidelines that regulate the treatment of wood packaging materials (WPM) including dunnages in international trade. It specifies the phytosanitary measures that are required to minimise the spread of quarantine pests.

ISPM 15 and other ISPMs were developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) which addresses plant quarantine on behalf of the United Nations Food & Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

What does Wood Packaging Material (WPM) refer to?

It refers to raw wood packaging material; both softwood and hardwood. It does not include processed wood such as plywood, strand board, chipboard and others.

Who will require the application of ISPM 15?

This is the most common fumigation service required by persons engaging in international commerce. As long as WPM is present within the cargo or within an individual shipping container being sent abroad, you will need to comply with the ISPM 15 standard.

The treatment comprises fumigation using Methyl Bromide, following which all WPM has to be marked with ISPM 15. This requires the services of a suitably qualified professional fumigator, who has been accredited by the Malaysian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme (MAFAS) under the Department of Agriculture.

A Fumigation Certificate is to accompany the shipment on its journey. Upon arrival at the port of entry in another country, quarantine officials will check for compliance to ISPM 15. Non-compliance shipment can result in the cargo being sent back, or destroyed.

ISPM 15 is being implemented progressively around the world. Already, its effects have been felt in exports headed towards Canada and the United States where quarantine officials are exceptionally vigilant. For instance North America emphasises the need to select a suitable fumigation company, whose internal controls ensure a fumigation result which will not delay the consignment.

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