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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Inspecting Wood Packaging Material

Learn what U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agriculture Specialists look for when they inspect wood packaging material (WPM) at U.S. ports of entry.

(Photos courtesy of  U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Compliant Wood Packaging logo

Inspectors will look for a valid International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) logo and ensure no pest or pest risk is present.

Valid International Plant Protection Convention logo with the logo, country code, treatment type, and facility number.

Here’s a breakdown of the information in the ISPM 15 stamp:

  • IPPC logo
  • XX signifies the two-letter country code
  • 000 signifies the unique facility number within the country
  • YY signifies either the method of treatment heat treatment (HT) or methyl bromide (MB)

WPM that is marked and certified in compliance with ISPM 15 may be reused regardless of country of origin. ISPM 15 compliant WPM that has been repaired or remanufactured must be recertified under the HT or MB options.

Examples of Correct Logos

Here’s a list of the eight families of plant pests of concern which are associated with WPM. Infestation of WPM by any one of these eight families confirms that the WPM was not treated in accordance with USDA regulations 7 C.F.R §319.40-3(b)(1).

Family Plant Pest
Buprestidae Metallic beetles (e.g., emerald ash borer)


Longhorned beetles (e.g., Asian longhorn beetle), the second most prevalent interception Customs and Border Protection finds on non-compliant WPM
Cossidae Carpenter moths and Leopard moths


Bark weevils
Platypodidae Pinhole borers
Scolytidae Clearwing moths
Siricidae Wood wasps

Comparative Insect Sizes

Here you can see the very small Buprestidae larvae on the penny and the adult Scolytidae (bark beetle) on the pencil tip, which inspectors will look when examining WPM.

Adults and larvae are found on non-compliant WPM. Here are a few examples of some adult plant pests in the above graphic.

The top high-risk commodities include manifested wood packaging material (e.g., pallets), machinery (including auto parts), metal, and stone products (including tiles).

Additional high-risk commodities

Additional high-risk commodities that could contain wood packaging material pests are electronics/electronic components, finished wood articles and plant products and foodstuffs (packaging material).

There are several indicators of WPM infestation. As highlighted in the above graphic, inspectors may find large round exit holes, feeding damage, and snake-like trails.

Presence of frass (insect excrement that looks like sawdust) is also an indicator of WPM infestation.

When CBP inspectors find wood packaging material that is inappropriately or illegibly marked, unmarked, or infested, the inspectors assume it was not treated by either of the approved methods identified under 7 C.F.R §319.40-3(b)(1). These photos are examples of inappropriately or illegibly marked WPM.

Inappropriately Marked 

Note the lack of border around the above image on the right.


Infested with Pests


WPM that has bark or is infested with a named pest confirms that the WPM has not been treated in accordance with 7 C.F.R §319.40-3(b)(1).  This is an example of bark on WPM.

This is another example of WPM with bark. The non-compliant pallets were labeled with a prepared statement from the shipper indicating that they were made from plywood and complies with the IPPC standard for wood packaging materials. Upon further inspection, the pallets were found to be composed of solid wood concealed by an outer veneer sheet.

New Wood Packaging Material is fresh, green cut sap visible with higher pest probability. Old Wood Packaging Material, however, has very low moisture content, is re-used, shows visual damage, and has a lower pest risk. In mixed Wood Packaging Material, you’ll see characteristics of both new and old Wood Packaging Material.

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