ISPM 15: Importing and Exporting in a Post-Brexit Landscape
on February 9, 2021
Since 1st January 2021, the UK has been classified by the EU as a third-party trading nation, in accordance with the terms of the Brexit agreement. Consequently, it is a legal requirement that all wooden packaging imported and exported between the UK and Europe must comply with internationally recognised standards.
The International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) have been implemented to avoid the spread of pests and diseases in international trading. The standard outlines three primary approaches for the treatment of packaging produced from coniferous and non-coniferous wood, including: heat treatment, kiln drying and methyl bromide fumigation. After treatment, wooden packaging products are marked, ready for use.
What counts as solid wood packaging?
Boxes and crates
Pallets and loading boards
Note: ISPM-15 standards do not apply to plywood, raw wood that’s 6mm or less in thickness, barrels containing alcohol and gift boxes produced from processed wood—including sawdust, shavings and cardboard.
Wooden packaging transported between Northern Ireland and Great Britain is not required to meet ISPM-15 standards.
The UK Government advises businesses to specify their packaging requirements with their exporter to avoid export fees and delays.
Import hold-ups and further fees can be incurred if goods need to be repackaged, if wooden packaging must be treated or destroyed (if treatment is not possible), or in the event that goods must be returned to the exporting nation.
If your business exports goods, you’ll need to check the exporters’ guide to find out if the receiving nation operates to ISPM-15 standards on the import of products. Find out more here.