The simple answer to the question, do all wooden pallets need to be heat treated is…no.
So this begs the follow up question, what are the heat treated pallets regulations?
When shipping from Canada to another country other than the US, make sure your wooden pallets are heat treated. If you are shipping domestically (within Canada) your pallets and other wood packaging products do not have to be heat treated. When shipping from Canada to the US, your wooden pallets do not have to be heat treated as long as there are no signs of pest infestation and the lumber used originated either from Canada or the US.
For more information on heat treatment, please read our in depth article.
Industry standards regarding heat treated pallets
Even though the answer to the question do all wooden pallets need to be heat treated is no, unless you are shipping outside of the US and Canada, certain industries may require heat treated wooden pallets for sanitary purposes. We have seen many product recalls within the food and pharmaceutical industries as a result of contaminants from wooden pallets and wooden crates. Wood pests, fecal matter, and raw meat bacteria can be very hazardous to human health. Fumigation processes to destroy living pests leave chemical traces. Heat treatment, which is a method of sterilization, is likely the safest method of sterilization currently available.
Wood is sterilized by heating the pallets until they reach a minimum core temperature of 56 °C (132.8 °F).
Kiln dried is not the same as heat treated. Please read our post regarding kiln dried vs heat treated.
ISPM 15 Heat Treated Pallets Wheat Stamp
It's usually more complicated than you think.
As with most aspects of wooden pallets, packaging and containers, there are many factors that have to be considered. Be wary of a pallet supplier who is not asking the right questions. It’s important to make sure your product shipments are safe, and meet legal and/or industrial wood requirements. At Toronto Pallet Solutions, we are the experts so you don’t have to be.
If you still have questions about heat treated wooden pallets, please give us a shout. It’s our job to make your job easier.