ISPM No. 15 and the Incidence of Wood Pests: Recent Findings, Policy Changes, and Current Knowledge Gaps
R A Haack, E G Brockerhoff
Largely as a result of international trade, hundreds of species of bark- and wood-infesting insects have become established in countries outside their native range. Many of these exotic insects have caused severe economic and environmental impact to urban and forest trees in the receiving countries. Most bark- and wood-infesting insects have been transported to new countries by means of the wood packaging material (WPM) pathway, which includes products such as pallets and crating. The international community responded to the phytosanitary risk posed by untreated WPM by approving ISPM (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures) No. 15 in 2002 that specifies treatments designed to kill wood pests in WPM used in international trade. In response to new research findings, ISPM 15 was revised in 2006 and 2009. The goal of ISPM 15, as stated in the 2009 revision, is to ‘reduce significantly the risk of introduction and spread of most quarantine pests.’ Since 2002, heat treatment and methyl bromide fumigation have been the only two approved phytosanitary treatments for WPM. New treatments are urgently needed given that the use of methyl bromide is being phased out worldwide. This paper presents background information on (a) ISPM 15, (b) changes that were made to ISPM 15 during each of the two revisions, (c) research highlights from projects that were used to support the revisions, (d) incidence of insects of quarantine significance that were found in WPM during surveys conducted before and after implementation of ISPM 15, and (e) research needs to further improve ISPM 15.