ISPM 15 Important information when using wood as packaging material

Globalisation and the increase in international goods transport has resulted in foreign animal and plant material being distributed around the world. The organisms in wood packaging can be parasitic and, in some cases, lead to diseases in plants and plant products. The global ISPM 15 regulations have been imposed in an attempt to prevent the spread of foreign parasites.It is crucial that your wood packaging meets the ISPM 15 requirements, otherwise your shipment will be rejected or even destroyed upon arrival at the border. Of course, in these cases Meilink is your experienced adviser.

ISPM 15 stands for International Phytosanitary Measure 15. This is a so-called phytosanitary measure, developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), a suborganisation of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO). The ISPM 15 describes the methods to be used when treating the wood, so as to ensure that the wood no longer contains any harmful organisms. The wood is certified with a print of the ISPM 15 logo as well as the country of origin. Certified wood that has been reused or repaired must be recertified as well.

Bullet points: ISPM 15 compliant wood packaging

A bundle of wood must have the IPPC certification logo on both sides. It is preferable to apply this marking spread out over multiple parts, or to use a pre-printed IPPC certification logo on a paper A5-size label. This label can be applied with staples on both sides of the bundle.  This will prevent a NON-registered company from making a product with the IPPC certification logo from one of the registered companies.

Opt for a member of SMHV, opt for Meilink

More and more countries are now requiring ISPM 15 for wood packaging that enters the country through import.  As of 1 November 2017, The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be imposing extra measures and increasing sanctions when finding wood packaging with quarantine organisms or when finding IPPC certification logos not in compliance with ISPM 15. Shipments with packaging wood and wood packaging that do not carry the ISPM 15 certification logo can be stopped, sent back or even destroyed at the border. So: take no risks and opt for ISPM 15-treated wood from a company affiliated with Stichting Markering Houten Verpakkingen (SMHV). Of course Meilink is a member of SMHV! The certification institutes have observed that some SMHV-registered companies have certification logos that are not sufficiently legible. We therefore ask you to be extra alert so as to prevent risks during export. See the provisions in paragraph 2.9 and appendix 2 of the SMHV Manual. This manual can be requested at Meilink or SMHV.

More information

The SMHV website ( has a link to the animated video on ISPM 15. This animated video explains the importance of ISPM 15, with which wood packaging and dunnage can easily be transported all over the world.