The transitional trade agreement between the UK and EU which was due to expire on 31st December 2020 also included this obligation.
This formally confirms that the future requirements for WPM that are being shipped together with goods from the UK to EU markets must be identical in respect of treatment as they are for all WTO countries.
It should also be noted that shipments to the ‘Island of Ireland’ must be fully ISPM15 compliant whether they are destined for Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.
ISPM15 is the synonym for “International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures no.15 Regulations”; a standard which was developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) that directly addresses the need to treat wood materials that are used to ship products between countries.
Its main purpose is to prevent the international transport and spread of disease and insects that could negatively affect plants or ecosystems. ISPM15 affects all wood packaging material (wood pallets, wood cases/crates & dunnage) and requires that the timber used in their construction is debarked and then heat treated. In order to be fully complaint WPM must then be stamped or branded twice with the globally accepted mark of the ISPM15 standard. This mark of compliance is colloquially known as the “wheat stamp” and also bears reference to the licensed producer, country of origin and treatment method – as can be seen in the above photograph.
ISPM15 compliant WPM can only be produced by specially approved and accredited sources, such providers are independently audited/licensed twice per annum, and responsible for the upkeep of comprehensive records of all treatment cycles and transactions – Shaw Pallet being first approved in 2003.