Bark and Dunnage



Debarked and Bark-Free Wood

International Forestry Quarantine Research Group (IFQRG)

The IFQRG Home Page can be found at:

The International Forestry Quarantine Research Group was established to provide a mechanism where critical forestry quarantine issues can be addressed through discussion and collaborative research. It serves to bring together scientists and phytosanitary officials to foster multi-disciplinary approaches to forest quarantine-related problems of global significance.

The Group serves several main functions:

  1. Advisory body to the IPPC providing scientific analysis and review of global phytosanitary issues and new information

  2. Forum for the discussion and clarification of key issues related to the phytosanitary implications of global trade.

  3. Identify and undertake collaborative scientific research aimed at high priority forestry quarantine questions.

Recent IFQRG documents concerning the issue of bark as related to wood packaging material can be viewed by clicking the links below:

IFQRG Position Statement on Bark and ISPM No. 15

Examination of Phytosanitary Issues Related to Bark on Wood Packaging Material and ISPM 15 Treatments


ISPM-15 defines dunnage as “Wood packaging material (WPM) used to secure or support a commodity but which does not remain associated with the commodity.”

ISPM-15 further states that “Ideally, dunnage should also be marked in accordance with Annex II of this standard as having been subjected to an approved measure. If not, it requires special consideration and should, as a minimum, be made from bark-free wood that is free from pests and signs of live pests. Otherwise it should be refused entry or immediately disposed of in an authorized manner.” Annex II refers to the proper marking for approved measures, namely heat treatment and methyl bromide fumigation.

Current handling of dunnage is a direct result of requirements imposed by several countries. It is highly recommended that shippers utilizing dunnage should adhere to the following requirements for all international destinations in order to avoid delayed and/or rejected shipments.

Dunnage must be treated with one of the acceptable treatments, heat or methyl bromide fumigation, and marked with the appropriate IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) symbol. Because the basic heat treatment (HT) and methyl bromide (MB) WPM stamps are intended only for final products (e.g., pallets, skids, crates, etc.) they cannot be used for dunnage. Instead, “HT/DUN” and “MB/DUN” are the accepted markings for dunnage. The following example illustrates the appropriate marking for heat-treated dunnage:


a) Trademark - the identifying symbol, logo, or name of the accredited agency
b) Facility Identification - product manufacturer name, brand or assigned facility number
c) Heat Treatment Mark
d) Country Code - the two letter ISO country abbreviation
e) Approved International symbol for compliant wood packaging material
f) Indication of use for dunnage (may be spelled out fully)

Additionally, pieces intended for use as dunnage must be marked every two feet, so that any cutting of the longer piece into shorter pieces will ensure that the mark is present on each of the shorter pieces. In the case of dunnage shorter than 2 feet, each piece must still have the mark present.

Dunnage is almost exclusively being treated with heat. For those companies heat-treating both final product and dunnage, they will need to maintain two separate stamps from their inspection agency. Of course, this also means maintaining records for both dunnage and final product activities.

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