The European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL) ensures a smooth flow of goods in the logistics world with over 600 million EPAL Euro pallets and 20 million box pallets in the world’s biggest open exchange pool. Its wooden pallets are treated in accordance with the ISPM 15 standard making them suitable for the unrestricted movement of goods outside the EU.
Now the UK has left the European Union, import and export companies fear that trading to the former member of the EU and back may no longer function smoothly. The reason companies are citing this is due to a lack of IPPC compliant wooden packaging and pallets, which must now be treated according to ISPM 15 for transport to and from the UK.
The ISPM 15 standard has been compulsory for the international movement of goods outside of the EU since 2002 to protect native woodlands from pests. For goods transported inside the EU, the treatment is not obligatory. For import to a third country, compliance with the standard is rigorously checked upon arrival and if a load carrier has not been treated the whole cargo will be refused entry. From the start of January the United Kingdom is now considered to be a third country and for goods transported, wooden pallets at all borders to and in the UK will be checked for compliance with the ISPM 15 standard.
The ISPM 15 standard requires the treatment of solid wood with an approved measure. This is achieved on all EPAL pallets by heat treatment (HT) in a drying chamber. This is recognisable through the branding of the central block with the IPPC marking and the licensee’s IPPC permit number, as well as the abbreviation – HT. These markings may only be used by operations that are registered with the responsible phytosanitary authorities.
According to the EPAL Technical Regulations, it has been compulsory for all EPAL pallets to be treated in accordance with ISPM 15 during production since 2010. For repairs, EPAL requires that its licensees use new wood and furthermore obliges repair operations to observe the national ISPM 15 regulations.
Founded in 1991 as the umbrella association of licensed producers and repairers of EPAL load carriers, EPAL is globally responsible for consistent quality. EPAL pallets are produced from sustainably grown CO2 neutral wood, can be repaired and recycled, as well as reduce transport distances thanks to a high-level of availability.
Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.
Claire prides herself on keeping readers well informed and up to date with the latest industry news.