Wood packaging

Buying and importing wood packaging

If you're buying or importing wood packaging you must make sure it conforms to legal requirements or you risk your shipment being destroyed or returned.

Wood packaging manufactured in the UK

Wood packaging manufactured in the UK and intended for export outside the European Union (EU) must comply with International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures 15 (ISPM15). See wood treating and marking requirements.

Imported packaging and essential requirements

In addition to the requirements for wood packaging, all packaging imported into the UK must meet essential requirements for packaging, which are concerned with environmental standards and minimising the amount of packaging and waste.

Wood packaging acquired from within the EU

Wood packaging brought into the UK from other EU countries or Switzerland must be bark-free or kiln-dried and marked "KD" to meet the EU Protected Zone requirements set out in the EU Plant Health Directive. Alternatively, it must be ISPM15 compliant.

All wood packaging exported from Portugal must either be ISPM15 compliant or otherwise marked to show that it was manufactured in another EU member state. All wood packaging exported from Portugal must be ISPM15 compliant, regardless of origin. Checks will be carried out by Plant Health Inspectors and any non-compliant wood packaging is liable to be destroyed.

Imported wood packaging from outside the EU

If you import wood packaging material from outside the EU or Switzerland, it must be ISPM15 compliant. Read more about wood treating and marking requirements.

There are no tests that show whether wood has been properly treated. However, the presence of any living insects in the wood can be taken to mean that it hasn't been treated, and any wood packaging material with living insects mustn't be re-used but should be destroyed (or treated by an approved facility and re-marked).


Dunnage is loose wood used as packing material around and between the cargo. It must be ISPM15 compliant and each piece must be marked.