eu shipping standards

The European Union is setting the standard for health and safety for wooden crates that are used for shipping and freight. The regulations set by the EU are designed to keep the tree pests that are prevalent around the world from being transported through the wooden crates that the trees are being used to make. The EU has implemented these regulations to keep these harmful pests from spreading.

Meeting the standards for wood treatment and regulations is essential for protecting the environment and eco systems from the infestation of foreign pests. There are many factors that go into the treatment of the wood used for shipping.

The EU Standard for Wooden Crates

The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM15)

ISPM15 is the most commonly used standard around the world for wooden crates entering or leaving countries. ISPM15-compliant packaging must match the business requirements of the country it was manufactured in as well as the destination country it is going to be shipped to. Developed by the International Plant Protection Commission, its goal is to prevent the spread of the aforementioned pests, in order to keep foreign plants and ecosystems from being affected by them.

Wooden Crates must be Heat-Treated

To deal with the pests can live in the wood of the trees used to manufacture crates, the way these wooden crates are treated is with heat to remove the risk of pest infestation. Wood must be heated until its core reaches 56 °C for at least 30 minutes. This ensures that any pests or their eggs are dealt with completely. There are several ways to go about heat-treating the wood. The wood can be heat treated in a regular chamber (HT), kiln-dried (KD), or even mobile-treated (HT) in heating systems that are installed in the back of trucks to ensure that the process can be completed anywhere.

The abbreviations for the methods of heat treatment are important because they will be imprinted upon the crate in the ISPM emblem (see picture above).

Bark Removal

It is also mandated that prior to being heat treated the wood of the crates has its bark removed. The wood is debarked to prevent the spread of pests from country to country worldwide.

Standards Vary Country to Country

Each country around the world has its own requirements and specifications for shipping with wooden crates. These requirements can be found under the global guide listed here. It is important to be aware of the differing standards around the world when shipping. If a wooden crate does not meet the standards for importation into a certain country, then everything within a certain crate that fails to meet the standard could be confiscated or destroyed.


There are certain exemptions to the ISPM15 regulations. Wood under 6mm in thickness is safe and exempt. Also, wood comprised of only processed wood, including plywood or particle boards, these are also exempt from ISPM regulations. However it is important to check with the country of destination to ensure that the wood is going to meet their regulations.

It is easy to see how technical the regulations for wood shipments can be. The crates that many items are shipped globally has to meet these standards or it risks never reaching its ultimate destination. The good news is that Crate Tech, Inc. meets all the global standards with their shipments and is in compliance with all regulations. They are experienced in meeting these standards so the client can rest assured that the package shipped in a wooden crate will be dealt with and shipped meeting all global standards. For all shipping needs, domestic or international, contact Crate Tech at 253-872-6857!