BREXIT update – winter 2020

BREXIT update – winter 2020

Brexit – ISPM15 Heat Treatment Status

The UK timber pallet and packaging industry, represented by TIMCON has been working hard in close communication with DEFRA to prepare for BREXIT. To date, there has been no eleventh hour “U-turn” regarding the issue that “From the 1st January 2021, it will be a legal requirement for all wood packaging material moving in both directions between the UK and the EU, to be compliant with a treatment and mark, as specified in the International Standard for Phytosanitary measures No 15 (ISPM15).”

The industry is in regular contact with relevant DEFRA personnel and is advised that they see no change forthcoming. There has been some talk of the UK adopting a risk-based approach, in the first six months, to inspecting inbound timber packaging flows, given that wooden pallets moving into the UK from the EU represent a low risk. Having consulted with DEFRA, we can advise that this is most definitely not the case and more importantly, for our customers exporting into the EU, we have not had it confirmed that the EU countries Border Inspection personnel will be reciprocating such a pragmatic approach.

It’s also important to consider all parts of the supply chain. EU suppliers into UK businesses that don’t ship supplies on ISPM15 pallets will face penalties. Full details can be found here:

We strongly advise export pallet users to plan to use ISPM15 compliant pallets from the 1st January 2021. In readiness to support our customers to fulfil their new export requirements, we have focussed on three significant developments.

Firstly, our Scott Pallets – Bathgate site has been approved to carry out repairs to EPAL licenced Euro pallets using pre-heat treated components. The site is the first in the UK to have its application approved. This will allow us to turn around ISPM15 compliant EPAL euro pallet repairs in a reduced timescale.

Secondly, following the launch of the UK Wood Packaging Materials Marking Programme – Addendum – Temporary Easement ISPM15 Repairs, Scott Pallets has registered 27 of its ISPM15 accredited sites to the scheme. This will allow us to turn around ISPM15 repaired pallets quicker, helping to ensure there are ISPM15 pallets available for our customers to ship their goods from the 1st January 2021.

Thirdly, we have significantly increased our total available ISPM15 kiln capacity nationally. As the largest accredited provider, we now operate 23 number of kilns in ten separate locations nationwide.  For reference the difference in heat-treated and kiln-dried pallets is explained:

The rules for shipping goods between the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK mainland remain as previously advised. It’s worth reemphasising them as they are more complicated due to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

  • WPM going from UK mainland, through NI and into ROI – need to be HT
  • WPM going from UK mainland direct to ROI – need to be HT
  • WPM going from UK mainland to an EU destination – need to be HT
  • WPM going from UK Mainland to NI – need to be HT (but not vice-versa)
  • WPM coming from an EU destination to mainland UK – need to be HT
  • WPM coming from ROI through NI and into UK mainland – need to be HT  (assuming that they are only transiting NI)
  • WPM coming from ROI direct to UK mainland – need to be HT
  • WPM going between NI & ROI – are exempt and do not need to be HT 

For support to ensure your business pallet requirements are in order, contact your account manager or our technical team.


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