Wood packaging material (EU rules)

Wood packaging material in use refers to wood or wood products (excluding paper products) used in the transport of objects of all kinds for supporting, protecting or carrying a commodity. This includes crates, drums, packing cases, load boards and pallets.

Dunnage for non-wood cargo concerns wood used to wedge or support a non-wood commodity but which does not remain associated with the commodity.

The EU requirements for wood packaging material and dunnage are based on the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) n°15. (art. 43 and art 96 of Regulation 2016/2031)

All wood packaging material and dunnage from non-EU countries must be:

  • either heat treated or fumigated in line with ISPM15 procedures;
  • officially marked with the ISPM15 stamp consisting of 3 codes (country, producer and measure applied) and the IPPC logo;
  • made of debarked wood.

These requirements do not apply to:

  • wood 6mm thick or less;
  • wood packaging material made entirely from processed wood produced using glue, heat and pressure e.g. plywood, oriented strand board and veneer;
  • wood packaging material used in trade within the EU
  • (except from certain areas where certain pests, such as Pinewood nematode and Asian longhorn beetle, are present, under containment or eradication). Specific rules are in place for 52 commodities imported from China and Belarus with wood packaging material under Decision (EU) 2018/1137 as they present an increased phytosanitary risk. This decision prescribes that at least 1% of the incoming consignments and their wood packaging are checked.
  • From December 2019, the competent authorities within the EU will carry out risk-based controls for wood packaging based on the relevant information available in the Information Management System of Official Controls (Regulation 2019/2125).
Last updated: 09/04/2020