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Import from EU countries and Switzerland - wood packaging and dunnage

There is no requirement for ISPM15 treatment and marking to be applied to wood packaging material being imported to GB from another EU Member State, except Portugal. However, if WPM has been applied and meets this standard, it will be accepted.

Where ISPM15 treatment and marking have not been applied, and the conifer WPM comes from another EU Member State (except Portugal), the less stringent GB Protected Zone landing requirements detailed in A and B below must be applied.

Conifer wood packaging material originating in Portugal and being imported to GB must be ISPM15-compliant because of the outbreak of Pinewood Nematode there. (EU Commission Implementing Decision 2012/535/EU refers.)

WPM treatment options other than ISPM15 requirements

Conifer wood

Conifer material shall be either:

• bark-free; or

• accompanied by a plant passport issued by a registered forestry trader in an EU Member State declaring that the wood with residual bark originated in an area known to be free of certain bark beetle species; or

• kiln dried (KD), marked with a KD mark, and accompanied by a plant passport issued by a registered forestry trader in an EU Member State.

The bark-free or kiln-dried options are the most practical options for exporters in continental EU Member States, given the wide distribution there of forestry pests and diseases of concern to GB. It should be noted that the bark-free requirement is stricter than the debarked wood requirement. Bark-free means wood from which all bark has been removed, excluding the vascular cambium, in-grown bark around knots, and pockets between rings of annual growth.

Pinewood Nematode demarcated areas

  • Mainland Portugal including a 20km buffer situated along the border with Spain
  • Island of Madeira
  • 20 km radius area around As Neves, Galicia (Spain)
  • 20 km radius area around Valverde del Fresno, Extremadura (Spain)
  • 20 km radius area around Santi-Spíritus, Castilla y León (Spain)

No conifer material shall leave these demarcated areas unless it has been treated to meet the following conditions:

Wood packaging must be ISPM15 treated.


Generally speaking, wood packaging materials made from most hardwood timber types are not regulated when they come from other EU Member States, and therefore they do not require any treatment or marking. However, wood packaging made from sweet chestnut, and plane wood coming from other EU Member States, is subject to GB plant health controls. The specific landing requirements for these controlled hardwoods are not provided in this guidance, because these wood types are not often used in wood packaging materials. They can, however, be obtained from our Plant Health Service if required. (See ‘Further information’ below).


ISPM15 requirements or other landing requirements do not apply to:

• raw wood of 6mm thickness or less; and
• wood packaging material constructed entirely from processed wood produced by using glue, heat and pressure, or a combination thereof, including plywood, oriented stand board (OSB), medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and other particle board products.

These exemptions apply to wood packaging materials originating in EU Member States and Third Countries.

Phyto-sanitary and Treatment Certificates

There is no requirement for ISPM15-compliant wood packaging to be accompanied by a phyto-sanitary or treatment certificate, because the certification is provided via the application of the ISPM15 mark. This applies to wood packaging materials originating in EU Member States and Third Countries.

Last updated: 21st October 2015