If you run a niche manufacturing operation, you may have enjoyed considerable success over the years and have expanded throughout the Australian market with great effect. However, you are always looking for further opportunities, and to do so, you need to look beyond the domestic market to overseas clients. In order to move in this direction, you must ensure that you have all your export arrangements under control and will probably need to look at your packaging very carefully. In fact, the type of pallet that you use could be critical. So what do you need to know?
As you may be aware, Australian regulators are very careful to ensure that bugs of any kind do not enter the country when goods are imported. Other countries employ the same approach, and you need to ensure that domestic critters are not hidden within any wooden products that you send overseas. Most developed countries have signed on to an international convention that has, in turn, laid down rules that need to be enforced. This means that you need to choose your packing materials and pallets very carefully or you could risk further action.
Much will depend on the type of pallet that you choose. Anything that is made from hardwood or softwood is covered by the convention, but if the pallet is made from plywood, particle board or some other solution that is based on wood, you may not have so much to worry about.
Any softwood or hardwood product has to be treated with methyl bromide or a similar agent to kill off any potential infestation. The wood will also need to be heated to a very high temperature under special conditions as part of this procedure. Certain pallet manufacturing companies are regulated by the government to do this work always in accordance with the international convention. They are allowed to attach a kitemark to the material when they have finished so everyone knows that the product is in compliance.
Much at Stake
You will need to ensure that you only get pallet products that have been so treated to avoid any dispute or delay at the border. It's likely that your shipment would be held back in the worst case, but if it did manage to make its way to the destination, it would probably be returned or destroyed at considerable cost to you.
Your approach should be clear. Only buy pallets from a recognised source if you plan to explore the export market.