Home > Newsletter Archives > Vol: 10/24/2017


    Concerns on Stamp Legibility 


    In the last two weeks, there has been several situations where pallets were quarantined in Brazil due to illegible IPPC marks.  There has also been talk coming from Mexico that they will no longer accept wood packaging material with an IPPC mark where part of the border is missing.  As countries become more finicky about the IPPC mark, it is more important than ever that those participating in the IPPC program for wood packaging place fully legible marks on their ISPM 15 conforming products.  

    For a mark to be considered legible all four parts must be present and complete:

    1. The IPPC wheat mark.
    2. The related country, mill & treatment information.
    3. Agency identification.
    4. All associated borders.

    Any one or portion of these parts that are missing creates an illegible mark.  Some reasons that prevent full application of the mark are:




    Placing a mark in a location where a wood defect or imperfection exists.






    Human error.







    Too little ink (or too much).



    Other issues that can cause illegibility include dirty or worn out stamps and rough or uneven wood surfaces.  Stamps, as well as any other marking device, should be routinely checked to ensure a proper mark is being made.  Cleaning or adjustments should be performed if a full mark is not present after the application is attempted.  

    TP has a training module on our website to assist in educating facility personnel to recognize what a legible mark is.  Properly applying a fully legible IPPC mark is one of the best ways to keep your customers products flowing and ensure repeat business.


  • When cleaning stamps it is recommended to use a toothbrush or air.  Cleaning solutions or other chemicals should not be used as they can damage the material the stamp is made from.

  • 300 dpi Image


    Do Inkjet Printers Work?




    There has been a great deal of interest in inkjet printers to generate the IPPC mark.  Inkjet systems can be successfully used to produce the mark on ISPM 15 conforming wood packaging material if the system used provides enough dots-per-inch (dpi) when creating the mark.  We have found that, to create an image that can be approved for use, the ink heads need to have in the area of 300 dpi to make a proper mark (like the image shown above).  At this time, only in-line inkjet systems have been able to achieve this level of quality.

    Handheld inkjet printers have only been able to achieve about 80 dpi and as a result, these have not been approved for use in the IPPC program.  The picture below shows an 80 dpi image which results in a "dot matrix" appearance.  The agency trademark and other information does not have an acceptable format and cannot be approved for use.  

    80 dpi Image

    Before any facility invests in inkjet equipment, make sure to contact TP management so we can speak with the inkjet manufacturer and make certain the equipment they want to sell you can provide an acceptable mark.  There have been companies in the past who have spent thousands of dollars on an inkjet system only to find out the equipment they were sold was not adequate.  This happens mainly with the heads of the inkjet system.  Companies can sell a facility on cheaper heads initially that produce a lower dpi image only for the facility to find out it cannot be approved.  They then need to spend thousands more for the proper heads that produce the required dpi.  

    TP wants to prevent this situation from occurring so please make sure to discuss any inkjet system purchase with us before investing money in one.