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EU Heat Treatment Requirements


There has been a little confusion over heat treatment requirements for pallets moving from Britain to the EU so far this month. In this blog we’d just like to lay out the guidance to assist with your enquiries.

ISPM 15 compliance requires heat treatment of pallets moving from Britain into the EU but it does not require any certificate or paperwork to travel with the pallets or wooden packaging materials (WPM). Heat treated pallets will carry a ‘HT stamp’ as below, this alone is enough to demonstrate ISPM compliance.

Example heat treatment stamp

The basic ISPM 15 requirement is shown below, it contains the IPPC* logo, country code (XX), registrant’s unique number (00) and the treatment code (YY).
*IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention)


A compliant HT stamp may be new or pre-existing on a pallet, once it has been heat treated it is compliant for the life of the pallet. If the pallet is repaired using new wood then the entire pallet must be heat treated again and re-stamped. Again, with a repaired – or even a brand new pallet – a certificate to comply with ISPM 15.

Brand new heat treated pallets can be accompanied by a certificate if requested, but once these pallets are in circulation you can imagine the administrative nightmare of keeping a piece of paper with a pallet, especially when they are reused and move about for several years. As such keeping certificates with pallets is a near impossible task.

That being said, we have been informed that some countries are asking for paperwork for WPM coming from Britain. China frequently requests a certificate, and now we are also finding that some other countries are requesting this too. If a country has decided that they wish to see ISPM 15 certification and will refuse a shipment without it, even though it is not necessary for ISPM 15 compliance, there are two possible options you may with to consider:

  1. Retreat/re-stamp the pallets and issue a matching certificate at extra cost; or
  2. Issue a statement instead of a formal certificate, such as “This wood packaging is entirely produced from wood treated to the phytosanitary requirements of ISPM 15 and is marked with the registrants unique mark” to reassure the customer

Please note that the above is only a suggestion, we can in no way predict or guarantee that this will meet the requirements of any receiving country. It would be wise to contact the receiver ahead of time and confirm what they are expecting to receive and agree in writing ahead of time.

A Note On Ireland and Northern Ireland

As per the Brexit deal, Northern Ireland is to be treated slightly differently to mainland Britain, the heat treatment requirements are not the same for Northern Ireland due to its border with Ireland.

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