Complete Pallet Markings Guide
Pallets are perfect for warehouse and DIY use. These wood packaging materials are essential in any warehouse or manufacturing facility. Yet, before you use any pallets, you must visually inspect them before picking them up. Always check for markings on the pallets. For example, “HT” means it hasn’t been exposed to any chemicals during treatment. Make sure to avoid all pallets with the marking “MB.”
Here is a more detailed look at some common pallet codes/markings:
No matter how you intend to use the racks, it’s essential to take note of the specific markings. Some pallets will have codes or symbols consistent with the ISPM15 Packaging Marking System. Sometimes, a wood pallet will simply have no pallet stamps at all.
If there are no markings or codes, it is considered a national pallet and has not been treated. These national pallets are used exclusively for domestic transport.
For wooden pallets:
International wood pallets come with an IPPC symbol (International Plant Protection Convention). Typically, this code will include the manufacturers two-digit country code. For example, a Great Britain code will read “GB.” Then, the company registration code will follow. HT, DB and MB are common two-digit codes.
You can expect to find these specific markings on most colored pallets:
Red Pallets: PECO (The Pallet Exchange Company from the USA)
Red Pallets: LPR (La Pallette Rouge from Europe, European Pallet Association)
Blue Pallets: CHEP (Commonwealth Handling Equipment Pool from Australia)
Brown Pallets: IPP (IPP Logipal from Europe)
Two-Digit Treatment Codes
These pallet markings are a few two-digit codes on a wooden pallet and their meaning:
DB (Debarked): Tree bark has been removed. It is not harmful.
HT (Heat Treated Pallets): This is a treatment code that means it has been heated to removed any parasites.
MB Pallets (MB Methyl Bromide): These chemically treated pallets have been treated with the toxic Methyl Bromide. Research shows that human lungs can be severely injured from any Methyl Bromide inhalation. DO NOT USE.
EPAL Pallets (European Pallet Association): These are untreated and safe for use.
KD (Kiln Dried): This treatment code that the wooden pallet underwent heat treatment and is designed to reduce moisture. It is not harmful.
What Is Heat Treatment?
The wood pallets will be heated to a temperature of 56 degrees C for 30 minutes. During this process, no chemicals are used. This means the wood is safe to use as firewood or for any at-home projects.
What Is Methyl Bromide?
Methyl Bromide is used to keep insects and pathogens under control. Besides the UK and EU, this treatment is still used all over the world. MB is very toxic and has been linked to Ozone depletion. Avoid these pallets at all costs and refrain from using the wood altogether.
Why Are Wood Pallets Treated?
This is done specifically to reduce the spread of pests or fungi/mold growth. The hope is that treating the pallets will also increase the overall lifespan.
Pallet Racking By Storage Equipment Systems, Inc.
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