Do you export?

If so, you may be aware of the requirements for wood packaging material or you may of heard of the ISPM 15 Regulations. (Click here for up to date information on countries implementing ISPM15).

In order to avoid problems over the use of wood packaging material in the UK, the Wood Packaging Marking Program has been set up by the Forestry Commission ( The ISPM15 mark for Wooden Export Packaging is as below. This mark must be applied to all heat treated timber packaging after 1st January 2004.

Acorn Packaging Services can help with any packaging solution for China or any other country where the ISPM 15 Regulations apply. We are registered as a participant in the UK Wood Packaging Material Marking Program. We are approved to apply the official mark of the program to wood packing material manufactured or repaired on our premises. Application of the mark certifies that the material has been manufactured or repaired in the UK and meets the prescribed phytosanitary (plant health) standards. We can in certain instances manufacture packing cases that do not require this mark as they are manufactured entirely from Processed Wood. This type of case only requires a “Declaration Of No Use Of Wood Packaging” as described in the key points below.

In advance of the likely global introduction of new International Plant Protection Organisation (IPPO) Regulations, China has already announced a unilateral embargo on all imports involving wood packaging. This does not comply with new treatment standards. China has given notice that, with effect from 1st October 2002, they will refuse entry to any imports unless the wooden packaging components conform to the IPPO requirements. Below are some key points to follow for ISPM 15 regulations.

Some Key Points to Follow

  • The requirements do NOT apply to wood packaging material comprised wholly of processed wood such as plywood, fibre board or similar products prepared using a high temperature, high pressure process.
  • The requirements do NOT apply to dunnage (loose wood used to wedge or support a cargo in transit) that is not landed, but remains on board the vessel.
  • All other wood packaging material must be produced from debarked wood AND either heat-treated OR fumigated with Methyl bromide. In accordance with the technical specification published by AQSIQ. All wood packaging material must be marked with a stamp identifying the type of treatment used, the country where applied, and the code (registration number) of the body which applied it. Wood packaging material produced by manufacturers registered under the UK Wood Packaging Material Marking Program (click here for details) and authorised to use the relevant treatment codes meets China’s requirements;
  • Some consignments with wood packaging material must be accompanied by a phytosanitary (plant health) certificate attesting the treatment which must be obtained prior to shipment of the goods. (Note: the Forestry Commission’s Plant Health Service is the issuing authority for these certificates in Great Britain. (Click here for details of how to apply to us for a phytosanitary certificate);
  • Some consignments with no associated wood packaging material must be accompanied by a ‘Declaration of no use of wood packaging’, to be put on normal commercial documentation and lodged with Customs on arrival. (Click here for further details).

Exporters should note that all applications for phytosanitary certificates must include details from the stamp applied to the wood packaging material.

Exporters should also note that a minimum of 5 working days is required from the date of application to the date of export. This is to allow appropriate inspections to be carried out.

Note: The Plant Health Authority in Hong Kong has confirmed that it will not be applying these requirements to consignments destined for import into Hong Kong. The rules will, however, apply to consignments shipped to Hong Kong for transit through to Mainland China.

Additional information regarding IPPO regulations and the Wood Packaging Marking Program can be found at:

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