Import regulations for packaging containers made from solid wood – IPPC standard [German version]

Many countries have put quarantine regulations in place to protect their native forests from the introduction of wood pests. In order to prevent the proliferation of differing import regulations, the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat, part of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, has issued ISPM 15 (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures) „Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade“.


The key features of IPSM 15:

IPSM 15 applies only to solid wood, with derived timber products and solid wood thinner than 6 mm (according to the EU Harmonized System) being exempt.
Treatment of the packaging by approved measures, which include heat treatment (HT) to a core temperature of 56°C for at least 30 minutes, for example by kiln drying (KD), provided that the above-stated specifications are achieved. Chemical pressure impregnation (CPI) is approved only if the required HT specifications are achieved, which is not generally the case. Another measure is fumigation with methyl bromide (MB) depending on concentration, duration and temperature.
Permanent and legible marking of the packaging must be provided on two opposite sides of the package. The mark is composed of the ISO 3166 two letter country code (e.g. DE for Germany), the regional identifier (e.g. NW for North Rhine-Westphalia) and a registration number issued by the regional phytosanitary authority to the packaging container manufacturer, the packer or the consignor (unique number beginning with 49). The treatment method is denoted by the abbreviation HT for heat treatment or MB for fumigation with methyl bromide. The letters DB may also be included where debarking is required.
Figure 1: Example of IPPC mark
IPPC symbol
Country code to ISO 3166, e.g. DE for Germany
Regional identifier, e.g. NW for North Rhine-Westphalia
Registration number, unique number beginning with 49.
Treatment method, e.g. HT (heat treatment), MB (methyl bromide), if applicable, DB (debarked)
The use of debarked wood may be required.
Official phytosanitary certificate is no longer required.

The phytosanitary authorities can provide information about the IPPC standard such as the countries to which it applies, the date from which it applies and its scope.

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