Wood packaging goods for import and export
You, or your packing service or freight forwarder, must make sure any solid wood packaging you use meets the requirements.
Solid wood packaging includes:
- packing cases
- boxes and crates
- drums and similar packing
- pallets, box pallets and pallet collars
- dunnage (loose wood used to protect goods and their packaging)
These rules don’t apply to processed woods like plywood, raw wood less than 6mm thick, or cardboard or other packaging materials.
What you need to do depends on whether you’re importing or exporting. If you don’t follow the rules your packaging could be rejected or destroyed.
Import solid wood packaging
Solid wood packaging must meet the ISPM15 international standards (PDF, 197 KB) if you import it from outside the EU.
If you import from the EU (except Portugal), you can specify less strict standards. Packaging can either be bark-free, or have a plant passport if it’s made out of conifer wood. If it’s kiln dried, it must also be marked ‘KD’.
You should specify the requirements for solid wood packaging in your contract with the exporter. This will help protect you if the packaging fails an inspection and you’re asked to pay for one or more of the following:
- repackaging of the goods
- treatment and marking of the wood packaging to meet ISPM15 standards
- destruction of the wood packaging
- return of the wood packaging and, if necessary, the goods inside it
If the packaging fails an inspection and you’re given the option to treat it, you can either:
- find a company authorised to carry out treatment to ISPM15 standards
- send the wood packaging back to the supplier
Export solid wood packaging
If you’re moving packaging inside the EU there are special rules for Ireland and Northern Ireland.
If you export packaging outside the EU, check if the country you’re trading with accepts ISPM15 (PDF, 197 KB) standards and if they have any other requirements.
You can either:
- check the global exporters’ guide
- contact the country’s embassy or national plant protection organisation
Reusing and returning solid wood packaging
You can reuse undamaged and uninfested wood packaging in:
- the EU
- other countries that accept ISPM15
If ISPM15 compliant wood packaging has been repaired, remanufactured or changed in any way, you must arrange for it to be re-treated and re-marked to maintain the standard. Find a company authorised to carry out treatment to ISPM15 standards.
Contact the Forestry Commission if you need help.