Wood packaging

Requirements for imports using wood packaging

If the goods you import are to be packed in wooden packaging, you should check that the packaging is compliant with International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures 15 (ISPM15).

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


Dunnage may be used with cargos of sawn wood (eg in the form of bearers, stickers, spacers etc). Only dunnage that meets the requirements of ISPM15 is allowed to enter the European Union. Material that is not ISPM15 compliant could be destroyed by burning or re-exported. Read more aboutĀ buying and importing wood packaging.

However, dunnage such as bearers, stickers and spacers which are integrated or banded into cargoes of regulated wood does not need to be marked to ISPM15 standards because the phytosanitary certificate will cover the whole consignment.

For bearers and stickers etc. made from non-manufactured wood products and greater than 6 millimetres thickness which are integrated or banded into cargoes of non-regulated wood - eg tropical hardwoods, plywood and other wood panel products - as well as all dunnage associated with any other type of cargo, must be ISPM15 compliant and marked, regardless of whether they are a regulated species or not.

Inspection failures

Imported goods using wood packaging may be inspected by the Forest Service NI. Should a consignment fail the inspection, the importer will have to bear the cost of the one or more of the following steps, any of which the Forest Service NI may require you to:

  • arrange return of the shipment
  • arrange treatment and marking of the wood packaging to meet ISPM15 requirements
  • arrange destruction of the non-compliant wood packaging
  • arrange return of the non-compliant wood packaging and, if deemed necessary, the goods associated with it

Should you be given the option to choose treatment, you can find a company authorised to carry out treatment to ISPM15.

Notifying the authorities about infestations

If you find any infested wood packaging, you must notify the Forest Service NI. Find contact details for the Forest Service NI. Be aware that it's an offence if you don't notify the authorities of the presence or likely presence of tree pests.

Essential requirements for packaging

If you import packed goods, which include goods packaged with wood packaging, as well as goods with retail packaging, then you need to comply with the essential requirements for packaging.