What is the

HT Program?

The International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 15 was adopted by the International Plant Protection Convention in 2002 and regulates wood packaging material in international trade.

Canada, an early signatory of the Convention, ensures that this international protocol is respected on its territory through the Canadian Heat Treated Wood Products Certification Program (HT Program).

The HT Program exists to allow certified producers to manufacture wood packaging products that meet the standard described in ISPM-15.

 

Why Does Phytosanitary Management Matter?

Phytosanitary refers to the health of plants; especially the freedom from pests requiring quarantine. The basic purpose of the program is to prevent the spread of regulated pests travelling in or on wood packaging material by treating the wood in a way that would destroy them.

In Canada, the only approved method to destroy these regulated pests is through the heat treatment. There are other methods accepted around the globe, including the use of Methyl Bromide, however they are not accepted for use in Canada.

When wood packaging is to be certified with an IPPC stamp, the raw materials used must be heat treated and need to be identified as such. To be credible, it must be associated with a certified facility. The HT Program allows producers of raw materials and finished goods to be recognized as compliant.

Each certified facility is assigned a number and marks its materials according to specific requirements. All wood packaging designated for export outside of Canada and the USA must bear the accredited IPPC stamp. The stamp serves as a passport and is considered proof that the solid wood used in the wood packaging is certified, heat treated and compliant with the International Standard.

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