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Is your wooden export packaging up to EU standards?

presswood palletpallet boxes heavy goodsplastic pallet

The 1st January not only heralded the start of the New Year, but it also marked the UK’s official departure from the EU. So, if you’re exporting goods to Europe from the UK using any kind of wooden packaging materials (like pallets, crates or dunnage containers), you must now abide to certain standards set out in the UK’s new trade agreement.

Using wooden packaging for export

The new guidelines state: “Wood packaging material (WPM) entering the EU must have been treated and marked in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 15 developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). As methyl bromide is a banned substance in the EU, pallets, crates, dunnage and other WPM must have been heat treated.”

In short, your wooden packaging must be heat treated and compliant with ISPM15 to ship your goods into the EU.

Planning your export packaging moving forwards

Swapping to compliant wooden packaging is the simple option. However, you could consider some alternatives that can reduce your overall shipment weight, save storage space and lower costs. Here are some examples of other packaging options you could try…

Corrugated pallets: these are up to 20kg lighter than a regular wooden pallet but can hold weights up to 750kg. They’re exempt from the ISPM15 regulations and will also significantly reduce your overall shipment weight. This will lower your total shipment costs and they can be collapsed for storage, saving space.

Presswood pallets:   this type of pallet is a cost-effective, lightweight mixture of 85% natural wood fibre and man-made resin. They’re moulded at high temperatures to provide a smooth solid base with a nesting feature that saves over 50% of storage space when not in use. The moulding temperature also means presswood pallets are ISPM15 compliant.

Cardboard pallet boxes: switching from a wooden box to a heavy-duty cardboard pallet box will help you decrease shipment weight and means no heat treatment required, if teamed with a non-wooden pallet. They can also be stored flat so will release space in your warehouse compared to the standard wooden alternative.

Plastic pallets: these pallets can be reused up to 250 times, are ISPM15 exempt and weigh less than their wooden counterparts. They can be used in a closed loop system, washed, and sterilised so they’re ideal for industries like food and pharmaceuticals.

If you need help with ISPM15 compliant packaging materials, speak to the Network Packaging team. Call 01902 496 666 or email