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Packaging Users

Since 1st January 2021, all wood packaging material (WPM) moving between Great Britain and the EU, and from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, has needed to be treated and appropriately marked in compliance with international standards (ISPM 15). Defra can confirm that this remains the case: all WPM moving between Great Britain and the EU, and from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, must be treated and marked in compliance with ISPM 15. This is in line with international requirements for trade and is in place to protect both the EU and UK from potential harmful plant pests and diseases." UK Government, Defra, 17th March 2021.

Please read the FAQs below. If you don't see the answer you need, then contact info@timcon.org 
TIMCON Brexit Q&A last updated 171120.pdf
Defra ISM15 WPM Q and A.pdf


Heat-treated wooden components are temporarily allowed for the repair of wooden pallets and packaging, increasing options for businesses who want to grow their capacity of ISPM15-compliant wooden packaging material (WPM) following the UK’s EU-Exit.

The new measure was proposed by the UK Government in November 2020 and also approved by the devolved governments on a temporary basis to help raise stocks of compliant WPM in the weeks remaining before the end of the transition period (31st December 2020) and until 31st July 2021. This is because, as the UK Government had stated, from January 1, 2021 ‘it will be a legal requirement for all wood packaging material moving in both directions between UK and the EU to be compliant with a treatment and mark as specified in the International Standard for Phytosanitary measures No 15 (ISPM15).’

If you are currently registered on the UKWPMMP to produce ISPM15 compliant packaging, you can apply for the temporary easement by downloading the documents below, and sending in the completed form (Form 2D) to info@ukwpmmp.org 

Addendum Temporary easement ISPM15 repairs.pdf
UKWPMMP Easement Form 2D.docx

Note: The easement is open only to existing members of the UKWPMMP and their approved sites as from the 17th November 2020, and will be subject to them fulfilling the terms and conditions of the addendum. It will be valid until December 31, 2021.

BREXIT UPDATE 18/03/2021


Following recent enquires received by the Secretariat, we re-confirm that the rules in place for ISPM15 requirements of WPM flows between GB and the EU (both directions) remains in place and continues to be the legal position since January 1st 2021. There have been recent Government announcements relating to extension to deadlines for the start of plant health inspection regimes, but these do not apply to WPM. Inspections have already started, and are continuing. Defra have issued the above statement.

ISPM15 requirements in relation to Northern Ireland have not changed either. Please see the table in TIMCON FAQ’s

If you are a member of TIMCON, you are able to attend the General Meeting (Online) to be held on 26th March, where DEFRA will also be giving an extensive update. Go to our events page for more information.

Customs/Border Controls

Now that we have left the EU, there are obligations placed on export and imports. TIMCON is in discussions with DEFRA and HMRC to feed in any concerns and any issues facing the cross border movement of pallets (not just ISPM15 related). If you have had issues or have queries around this, (e.g. have incurred problems with the movement of pallets in this regard), please contact info@timcon.org. This allows us to feed back any concerns to Government and give us a clearer picture of what is going on.

Useful links:

Guidance for exporting and importing businesses - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Find a Commodity code - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Get an EORI number - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Brexit - Timber Trade Federation (ttf.co.uk)

Declaring reusable packaging for Great Britain imports and exports - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

BREXIT UPDATE 23/11/2020

Penalties for non-compliance of WPM
Below you will find a document highlighting the potential penalties for non-compliance of WPM from the 1st January 2020 and represents the penalties applied to all non-compliant WPM from around the world, and so will be legally enforceable from the the 1st January on WPM coming from the EU, and vice versa.
Penalties for Imported WPM that does not comply with ISPM15.pdf

Changes to Plant Health Regulations affecting controlled forestry material from 1 January 2021
Below you will find information highlighting the changes to Plant Health Regulations from the 1st January 2021. From an ISPM15 context, the below is pertinent and is highlighted in gree in the document:

"Imports of sawn conifer timber, which is bark free, will still be permitted without PCs (unless it is from Portugal or Spain) and it is recommended that any accompanying commercial documentation carries the statement that the product is free from bark (not de-barked). Associated dunnage (bearers, stickers and spacers) of the same type and quality of this bark-free material need not be ISPM15 compliant where it is banded together with the sawn timber product."
Changes to Plant Health Regulations affecting controlled forestry material from 1st Jan 2021.pdf

BREXIT UPDATE (updated from 17th November)

Currently, all wood packaging material (WPM) moving between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU), including Switzerland and Liechtenstein, can move freely without checks and controls. At the end of the Transition Period, this will change. From 1 January 2021 all WPM moving between GB and the EU must meet ISPM15 international standards by undergoing heat treatment and marking. All WPM may be subject to official checks either upon or after entry to the EU or GB. This requirement is already in place for WPM moving between the Rest of World (RoW), i.e. non-EU countries, and the EU, and UK. Checks on WPM will be carried out in GB on a risk-targeted basis. The plant health risk from WPM imported from the EU is not expected to change from 1 January 2021.


The UK is leaving the EU’s customs union and single market. That means businesses will have to prepare for life outside of these, which will inevitably mean extra processes required on UK-EU trade. As such, after the end of the Transition Period, all wood packaging material (WPM), including wooden pallets, moving between GB and the EU must be treated and appropriately marked in compliance with international standards (ISPM 15). This is in line with international requirements for trade and is in place to protect both the EU and GB from harmful plant pests and diseases.

Further government info:




RELIABLE: Wood is a solid, reliable and environmentally friendly material

ENERGY EFFICIENT: wooden packaging uses less energy, are reusable, easily repaired, and can be recycled

KNOWLEDGE & EXPERIENCE: 60 years wooden packaging and pallets have been used for more than 60 years, reflected in the timber packaging industry’s experience and knowledge over those years.

VOLUME: wood is the most popular material for manufacturing pallets - accounting for more than 90% of the total

SAFETY: wooden pallets are proven to be less flammable than plastic pallets

HYGIENIC: wood has low level microrganisms, viruses, toxins and is antibacterial

Pallet Design System™

Wooden pallets play a vital role in the world of commerce. In a very real sense "pallets move the world". For three decades pallet manufacturers worldwide have trusted Pallet Design System™ (PDS) to provide professional and safe pallet designs.

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Click here for more information.