As International trade has increased over the years, so has the spread of pests associated with
wood products. Infestations of foreign insects, blights, and other organisms have destroyed
timber resources in this country and others. Our native chestnut and its relatives are essentially
gone, and elm populations have also been devastated by imported killers.
Currently, ash trees and other hardwoods in some US states are being destroyed by beetles from
other parts of the world, and millions of dollars are being spent to eradicate these foreign threats.
Similar destructive agents are hurting the native species in many other nations. Sterilization of
wood products which enter into International trade is the best known way to prevent the spread
of many of these destructive hitchhikers. Heat treating is the most economical method of
sterilization for most wood products. An International heat treating standard has been agreed
upon by most nations involved in trade with other countries.
How do Heat Treating Programs Work?
Producers who wish to participate in the programs enter into a contract with an agency which
has been accredited by the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC). The ALSC monitors
agency and producer activities to make sure heat treated material is produced in accordance with
the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Guidelines For Regulating Wood
Packaging Material In International Trade.
Each agency is responsible for making sure all producers under contract meet the same IPPC
and ALSC requirements.
Each producer is responsible for making sure that every unit of product meets these standards,
and is then permitted to use the official agency stamp which indicates compliance of the material
marked. A portion of the monthly fee paid to the agency goes to ALSC.
The agency is required to inspect the facility and records of each producer at least 12 times per
year, and an ALSC representative may visit the producer and/or the agency at any time to
determine ongoing compliance with the standards and other requirements.
Specific responsibilities of the producer and the agency are spelled out in Lee Inspection’s
Audit Agreement Contract and in our Quality Control and Inspection Procedures for IPPC Heat