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Import and export: customs declarations, duties and tariffs


Import and export: customs declarations, duties and tariffs

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Wood packaging goods for import and export


Wood packaging goods for import and export

You, or your packing service or freight forwarder, must make sure any solid wood packaging you use meets the requirements.

Solid wood packaging includes:

  • packing cases
  • boxes and crates
  • drums and similar packing
  • pallets, box pallets and pallet collars
  • dunnage (loose wood used to protect goods and their packaging)

These rules don’t apply to processed woods like plywood, raw wood less than 6mm thick, or cardboard or other packaging materials.

What you need to do depends on whether you’re importing or exporting. If you don’t follow the rules your packaging could be rejected or destroyed.

Import solid wood packaging

Solid wood packaging must meet the ISPM15 international standards (PDF, 197 KB) if you import it from outside the EU.

If you import from the EU (except Portugal), you can specify less strict standards. Packaging can either be bark-free, or have a plant passport if it’s made out of conifer wood. If it’s kiln dried, it must also be marked ‘KD’.

You should specify the requirements for solid wood packaging in your contract with the exporter. This will help protect you if the packaging fails an inspection and you’re asked to pay for one or more of the following:

  • repackaging of the goods
  • treatment and marking of the wood packaging to meet ISPM15 standards
  • destruction of the wood packaging
  • return of the wood packaging and, if necessary, the goods inside it

If the packaging fails an inspection and you’re given the option to treat it, you can either:

Export solid wood packaging

If you’re moving packaging inside the EU there are special rules for Ireland and Northern Ireland.

If you export packaging outside the EU, check if the country you’re trading with accepts ISPM15 (PDF, 197 KB) standards and if they have any other requirements.

You can either:

Reusing and returning solid wood packaging

You can reuse undamaged and uninfested wood packaging in:

  • the EU
  • other countries that accept ISPM15

If ISPM15 compliant wood packaging has been repaired, remanufactured or changed in any way, you must arrange for it to be re-treated and re-marked to maintain the standard. Find a company authorised to carry out treatment to ISPM15 standards.


Duty relief for imports and exports


Duty relief for imports and exports

Duty relief schemes allow you to pay less or no duty on imports and exports from and to non-EU countries.

If you are importing or exporting in the EU, you won’t have to pay any duty.

Trading outside the EU

Where the EU has a Free Trade Agreement in place with another country you can claim relief through a ‘trade preference’ to pay less or no duty.

There are rules around eligibility for trade preferences.

The rate of duty and the relief depends on the:

  • type of goods
  • country the goods are being exported to
  • country the goods originate in as set by the ‘rules of origin’

To claim a trade preference you need to:

HM Revenue & Customs helpline
0300 200 3700
Find out about call charges.

Other duty relief schemes

If you’re importing from or exporting to a country where there is no Free Trade Agreement in place with the EU, you might be able to apply for one of these relief schemes: