From the 1 January 2009, any packaging made of wood – for example pallets or crates – on freight to Norway must be ISPM compliant.
This means that the wood used has to be treated and marked in accordance with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures;the wood will be marked to show that this is so with a code. The code is made up as follows: two-letter ISO country code, three digit producer code, two digit treatment code. Next to the code, the wood will bear a ‘tree-type’ logo as specified in ISPM 15.
The reason for this regulation is that wood can be infested by plant pests. Packaging is often made of raw, untreated timber which can spread pests and diseases. There is plenty of detailed information on this regulation on the government DEFRA website, but it is also difficult to understand. The best way to make sure your packaging complies is to search for ‘ISPM 15’ on the Web, where you will find packaging suppliers who comply with the legislation.
These packaging regulations apply to a number of countries other than Norway, but not to trade between EU countries.