Steps to exporting with wood packaging

If you use wood packaging to export any product, you need to understand the type of wood packaging, the importing country phytosanitary requirements (ICPRs) and International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15).

What wood packaging is

Wood packaging includes wood and wood products used in supporting, protecting or carrying a commodity. For example:

  • dunnage (wood used to load and secure cargo)
  • fillets, spacers and gluts (strips and blocks of wood used to secure cargo)
  • wooden crates, boxes and packing cases
  • wood pallets
  • cable drums and spools/reels.

Wood packaging and its parts can be exported on their own or as a container for products. You must check if your destination market has any requirements your wood packaging must meet. Wood packaging requirements are additional to any requirements for the product you're exporting.

Check wood packaging requirements

MPI publishes documents to help exporters find and meet destination market requirements for plants and plant products, including packaging materials. These documents are known as Importing Country Phytosanitary Requirements (ICPRs).

Search for the phytosanitary wood packaging requirements for your destination country.

Check ISPM 15 requirements

Most countries require wood packaging to be ISPM 15 certified. ISPM 15 is an international standard for wood packaging and dunnage.

The debarking and treating required by ISPM 15 minimises the risk of moving pests of living trees internationally. Once applied, the mark is valid (while it remains legible) for the service life of the wood packaging. ISPM 15 compliant wood packaging may therefore be exported and re-exported a number of times.

To meet the ISPM 15 standard, debarked wood packaging is heat treated or fumigated by an MPI approved supplier.

If you need wood packaging with an ISPM 15 stamp, you can:

  • have packaging treated and stamped by an organisation approved by MPI to both treat and apply the registered certification mark
  • ask for wood packaging that carries the ISPM 15 stamp at your local wood packaging supplier
  • apply to become an organisation approved to apply the ISPM 15 mark to compliant wood packaging – email plantexports@mpi.govt.nz

Download the list of manufacturers approved for ISPM 15 [PDF, 522 KB]

To apply the ISPM 15 mark, MPI approved organisations must meet the requirements of the MPI standard: Registered Certification Mark for Wood Packaging (ISPM 15).

Download the ISPM 15 technical standard [PDF, 454 KB]

Check that the ISPM 15 marks are clear and legible. Illegible marks are non-compliant and are a risk to your export consignment.

Products that are exempt from ISPM 15

These items are considered low risk so they don't have to meet the ISPM 15 standard:

  • wood packaging material made entirely from thin wood (6 mm or less in thickness)
  • wood packaging made entirely of processed wood material, such as plywood, particle board, oriented strand board or veneer that has been created using glue, heat or pressure, or a combination of these
  • barrels for wine and spirit that have been heated during manufacture
  • gift boxes for wine, cigars and other commodities made from wood that has been processed and/or manufactured in a way that renders it free of pests
  • sawdust, wood shavings and wood wool
  • wood components permanently attached to freight vehicles and containers.

If you have questions about ISPM 15, contact your Independent Verification Agency (IVA).

Some fees and charges will apply.

Get export documentation

If you need a phytosanitary certificate for your wood packaging (this will be stated in the ICPR), you'll need to apply for this through your independent verification agency (IVA).

When MPI is satisfied that your wood packaging meets all of the requirements for your destination country, we'll issue an official assurance (phytosanitary certificate) and, if needed, your ISPM 15 stamp.

You can then continue with the process of getting a phytosanitary certificate or export certificate for the rest of your consignment.

If you don't have an IVA, you can email plantexports@mpi.govt.nz

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