Date posted: 28th August 2020
In a combined EU Exit statement from TIMCON and DEFRA, it has been announced that from the 1st January 2021, it will be a legal requirement for all wood packaging material, including wooden pallets, moving between the UK and EU must be compliant to ISPM15 heat treatment. This includes making sure consignments of wood packaging material have been stamped with the appropriate heat treatment mark.
The statement, issued on the 27th August 2020, confirmed what industry experts have been debating during the transition period of Brexit. The wooden packaging industry was fighting to avoid the decision as there is no scientific evidence of a change in the plant health risk associated with movements between the EU and Britain. Despite this, it has been confirmed that heat treatment will be compulsory for packaging movements between mainline Europe and the UK.
Measures have been taken to mitigate any mad dash to heat treat pallets and packaging, including increasing heat treatment capability, moving to 24/7 shift patterns and work carried out by industry experts has concluded that the use of heat treated repair boards will be allowed rather than having to re-treat the entire pallet after repairing for reuse.
It is highly unlikely that wooden packaging will stop being used between the UK and EU. It is the most cost-effective form of transit packaging and as mentioned in our previous blog, pallets have exceptional hygiene properties and are extremely durable. Pallets have been vital during the pandemic to ensure important goods such as medical supplies and food were transported quickly and efficiently. From the 1st January 2021, all we can do is make sure that any goods carried between the UK and the EU or vice versa using wooden packaging will need to be ISPM-15 heat treated.