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Treated Pallets: Which Pallets Are Treated In Australia?

November 10, 2020

As a leading pallets supplier in Sydney, we have put together a simple guide to which pallets are treated, how they are treated, and how they can be used – a useful guide to those looking to buy pallets in Sydney and Australia.

If you are looking for import and export pallets, you need to learn that they must be treated before dispatch to comply with regulations set by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPCC).

However, pallets used within Australia for domestic purposes, whether intrastate or interstate, may or may not need to be treated. There are various ways for pallet treatment, with each serving different purposes and applications, both having advantages and disadvantages as well.

Cooperage Pallets is one of the top pallet suppliers in Sydney, and we will show you how to identify the different types of treated pallets.


How are pallets treated in Australia?

There are two major ways to treat wooden pallets in Australia: heat treatment and chemical treatment (using methyl bromide pesticide). These methods have proved a success in potently killing parasites, fungus, and other pests which can live inside timber pallets. The heat or chemical treatment of wooden pallets is a critical step for import and export pallets to protect the ecosystems in Australia and overseas. Pallet suppliers should stamp the treated pallets accordingly (ISPM 15) to indicate that these pallets are good to use for export and import purposes.

Heat treatment

This is the most common form of timber pallets’ treatment, which is also the preferred method by the IPCC. This method uses steam, kiln drying and microwave, or radio frequency heating to heat the wood to 56–60 degrees, killing any pests that may be present.

Chemical treatment

Methyl bromide treatment of wooden pallets uses fumigation with the pesticide to kill any pests in the wood. Chemical treatment using methyl bromide has a limitation since it is not effective for materials thicker than 20 centimetres where it lacks the penetration power. Pallets treated with methyl bromide cannot be used in the garden or as furniture.


Common question: Can you reuse treated pallets?

Yes, treated pallets can be reused and recycled, but make sure to understand first how the treatment method can affect this decision. If you are simply after second-hand pallets for the business, then you’re good to go. But for the usage in home or garden, you cannot use the chemically-treated pallets, only heat treated ones can be used for this application.

CAUTION – do not use methyl bromide treated pallets as firewood since the pesticide will be released with the smoke when the pallets are burned. Only use heat treated pallets.

Untreated Pallets

Pallets with no stamp to confirm whether they have been treated or not cannot be used for export or import. These cannot be used either for home, garden or firewood, as they could have been treated but not stamped by mistake. Always check with your local pallets supplier.


What about plastic pallets?

Plastic pallets are not treated because pests and parasites cannot live in the plastic, making them ideal export pallets where hygiene is critical.


For advice on which pallet is the right one for your project, get in touch with Cooperage Pallets today for a free quote.