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International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No.15 (ISPM15)

Is your wooden packaging compliant with ISPM15?

The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) developed the ISPM15 guidelines as a way to regulate solid wood packaging in international trade. The purpose of these guidelines are to help prevent the spread of wood pests and disease, protecting the world’s forests and ecosystems.

All wood packaging materials (WPM) moving between the EU and other countries must meet ISPM15 international standards and are subject to official checks on a risk-targeted basis, so it’s important to be prepared and understand the treatment requirements for solid wood packaging.


What makes wooden packaging ISPM15 compliant?

ISPM15 requires WPM to be heated in accordance with a specific time-temperature schedule that achieves a temperature of 56°c for a minimum duration of 30 continuous minutes throughout the entire profile of the wood (see FAQ for more information).

Heat sterilisation minimises the risk of insect and pest infestation as the moisture levels are significantly reduced by the heat-treating process. It is the action of heat-treating that makes WPM “phytosanitary”.

Once the wood has been treated, it is stamped with the internationally recognised IPPC mark. The mark indicates the treatment method used and the country of origin of the WPM. In the UK, the standard is enforced by the Forestry Commission, which is the National Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO). They authorise the use of the IPPC mark to ensure pallets are compliant. (See below for more information).

We have developed the CHEP PLUS PS (phytosanitary) pallet solution for those customers requiring ISPM15 compliant pallets for export flows. CHEP ensure that all CHEP Plus PS pallets have been heat treated in accordance to the regulations and are properly marked as compliant.


What are the consequences of using non-ISPM15 compliant pallets for intercontinental shipping?

The IPPC mark on the pallet is the basis for ISPM15 compliance. Boarder authorities will visually check for stamps on the pallets upon entry without further need of paper declarations of treatment or phytosanitary certificates.

Using non-compliant ISPM15 pallets for international shipping can have severe consequences. Pallets not properly heat treated and marked risk denial of entry for the entire shipment (merchandise and pallet). In extreme cases, local authorities will have the right to destroy the pallet and the merchandise being carried.

There is no requirement to use ISPM15 compliant pallets for movements of goods within EU member states and Switzerland. There are two exceptions however - all pallets used for export of goods from Portugal and shipments to/from the Canary Islands in Spain must be ISPM15 compliant.

If you export or import goods into or from the EU, you need to be aware of ISPM15 packaging regulations to ensure the safe arrival of your goods and avoid a costly “No Entry” status.

Heat Treated Stamp Mark55 ISPM15

CHEP Plus PS ISPM15 compliant pallets

CHEP can provide you with a quality assured ISPM15 compliant pallet that meets these new standards and will ensure your export products arrive safely to their final destination.

CHEP PLUS PS ISPM15 pallets are clearly marked to be easily distinguishable as a CHEP heat treated pallet that meets these import specifications.

Heat treated pallets must have two marks from the same operator on opposite sides of the pallet. The marks must be visible and legible. The marks can appear on the block, stringer or lead board.

Find out what information every CHEP PLUS PS ISPM15 pallet will contain.

Are your CHEP pallets compliant with ISPM15?

Which CHEP pallets can be used for exporting and are ISPM15 compliant?

The Mark 55/US Standard Pallet (B4840A) is our dedicated pallet for export to North America, Canada and Mexico. It is ISPM15 compliant.

The UK Standard Pallet (B1210A) is a general purpose, reusable wooden pallet for use within CHEP’s network of European service centres. The UK pallet can be used for international export by ordering Plus PS, ISPM15 compliant, pallets upon request.

The Europallet (B1208A) is also a general purpose, reusable wooden pallet for use within CHEP’s network of European service centres. The Europallet can be used for international export by ordering Plus PS, ISPM15 compliant, pallets upon request. 

To compare these pallets in more detail, click here.


How do I order ISPM15 compliant CHEP PLUS PS pallets and what does the delivery note look like?

The method for ordering ISPM15 compliant pallets is through MyCHEP by selecting “Phytosanitary” under the “Treatment” specification. Please allow five working days for orders of Plus PS pallets.

See the below image for an example of what you can expect from a CHEP PLUS PS pallet delivery note.

Plus PS Pallet Delivery Note:


Frequently Asked Questions:

  • To download the full FAQ click the drop down:

    To download the full FAQ, click here.

  • How has Brexit affected ISPM15 pallet requirements?

    ISPM15 does not affect pallets moving between England, Wales, Scotland or the Channel Islands.
    All Wood Packaging Material (WPM) moving between Great Britain and the EU must be treated and appropriately marked in compliance with international standards (ISPM15).

    If you move WPM (for supply or to move goods) from Northern Ireland (NI) to the EU, there will be no changes to WPM requirements. If you move WPM (for supply or to move goods) from NI to Great Britain, there will be no changes to WPM requirements. These movements will also continue as before.

    Since the end of the Brexit transition period, wood packaging material, including pallets and crates, moving from Great Britain to NI need to be treated and appropriately marked in compliance with international standards ISPM15.

    Useful links:

  • Do ISPM15 pallets need to be heat-treated again before they are reused?

    Once a pallet is heat-treated and marked according to ISPM15 international standards then it can be reused without requiring further heat-treatment.

    The only situation when further heat-treatment may be required is in the event the pallet needs to be repaired and/or remarked. Under these circumstances, the pallet may be repaired with heat-treated timber and re-marked by the repairer, or the whole pallet may be re-treated and re-marked according to the way that ISPM15 requires.

  • What is the difference between Heat Treatment, Kiln Dry and Plus PS?

    Heat treatment (HT) involves placing pallets in a drying kiln or microwave where the wood is heated. The core temperature of the wood must reach a minimum of 56°C for at least 30 minutes. This eliminates all harmful organisms likely to attack standing plants. For a pallet to become ISPM15 compliant it needs to be HT.
    Kiln drying (KD) is used to reduce the moisture content of wood. Pallets are stacked inside the drying kilns and heated slowly to evaporate excess moisture. It is a type of curing process which prevents distortion of the timber as it dries. The goal is to reduce moisture, not pest eradication. The standard to which pallets are dried will vary depending on their intended end use.
    Plus PS stands for Plus Phytosanitary and is the CHEP denomination of a HT ISPM15 compliant pallet.

  • What is CHEP’s current capacity in terms of Plus PS pallets?

    EU to UK: Based on the UK guidance, we don’t foresee many customers requiring ISPM15 compliant pallets in the EU for shipments into the UK. Should customers require HT pallets, such requests will need to be managed through our commercial team on a case by case basis.

    UK to EU: We have the necessary capacity to provide our customers that request ISPM15 compliant pallets for export flows. We are adjusting our operational processes so that we can separate pallets that comply with the regulation. We are also subcontracting outsourced HT capacity as well as buying new pallets, which are already Heat Treated and Kiln Dried. With these measures, we are confident we can provide our UK customers with the volume of ISPM 15 compliant pallets they require for exports into the EU.

  • Is CHEP’s entire pool treated?

    No. Most pallet flows cover domestic markets, which don’t require ISPM15 compliant pallets. However, all new pallets are ISPM15 compliant and we also have plans to heat treat the necessary volumes for export flows.

  • Will I receive a document certifying heat treatment upon delivery?

    No, the mark on the pallet is sufficient. However, CHEP delivery note will indicate that the pallets delivered are Phytosanitary. You can download a sample of Proof Delivery document at the end of the page.


  • How do I order ISPM15 compliant Plus PS pallets?

    As a CHEP customer, the method for ordering ISPM15 compliant pallets is through MyCHEP by selecting “Phytosanitary” under “Treatment” specification.

    For non-customers, the method is by filling out a contact form

  • Is there a minimum quantity for Plus PS pallet deliveries?

    No, the same rules apply as for standard pallets. The procedure is no different at the planning stage. Our standard lead time of 10 working days applies.

  • Can I use available pallets with ISPM15 stamps?

    A pallet simply having an ISPM15 stamp on may not mean it is compliant as it might not be 100% legible. We are taking steps to have our processes audited by the relevant regulatory bodies at an EU level to demonstrate compliance to the correct processes.

    We will have our out-sort, repair and our own heat treatment processes audited to demonstrate compliance. As a result – CHEP can only guarantee ISPM15 compliance of its pallets that have been issued from a CHEP Service Centre.

Customs inspections

  • What impact could inspections at customs have on exports?

    There may be delays in exports. We recommend delivering to the port as early as possible, especially initially. Costs may be incurred as a result of inspections and the collection of merchandise on rejected pallets.

  • Is there any additional paperwork I need to carry with the pallet when exporting?

    No, ISPM15 pallets do not require any additional documentation for border control.

  • How are the inspections carried out at customs? And who pays the cost of inspections?

    Visually, they open the doors and empty out either the first few rows or the entire truck. The cost of inspection is covered by the exporter.

  • How many defective pallets (without a perfectly legible mark) are permitted?

    If ISPM15 compliant pallets are required on entry, no pallet passes the inspection without the ISPM15 mark.

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