Wood is a durable and renewable natural resource that is commonly used in international trade. Over 90 percent of pallets worldwide are made of timber and it is one of the most popular packaging materials in the UK.

International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures(ISPM 15) is a global agreement that regulates shipment of wooden materials between countries.

It is designed to protect the environment by minimising the spread of potential pests and diseases during transit of wooden materials such as pallets, crates, dunnage, cages and boxes.

How does it work?
Under ISPM15, all wood packaging materials for export must be made from debarked wood and heat-treated or fumigated before crossing international borders. They also need to be stamped with a compliance mark commonly know as “wheat stamp”.

Products made of alternative materials such as paper, plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) are exempt from these regulations, as any bugs are destroyed during the manufacturing process.

How am I affected?
ISPM15 is currently recognised in over 90 countries worldwide including the UK, European Union (EU) states, North America and China.

If you are exporting products to another EU country there are no additional controls or standards you need to meet. It is presumed that any timber packaging produced within the EU complies with the European Community internal plant health regulations.

But if you despatch your goods outside the EU you must ensure they comply with international standards.

Requirements vary from country to country so check before exporting any wood packaging materials abroad. Bear in mind that when using ISPM15-compliant timber packaging, you must meet the requirements of both the manufacturer’s and recipient’s countries.

For further information regarding import and export of wood packaging please visit: www.macfarlanemanufacturing.com or call us on 0844 7701417.




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