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If you want to import wood or wood products into the European Union, you will have to observe certain phytosanitary requirements. It depends on the country of origin and the type of wood – bark, hardwood or softwood – which requirements apply.
It is forbidden to import and sell illegally cut wood and products made of this wood. You must be able to demonstrate the exact origin of the wood and that it has been cut legally. You will possibly need a FLEGT licence (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) for some countries. A FLEGT license guarantees that wood products come from legally felled trees and have been imported legally.
Many types of wood must be treated to prevent harmful organisms being spread with the wood. A phytosanitary certificate is therefore often required with the import consignment. A plant passport can be required for transit within the EU.
Wood packaging imported into the EU from countries other than Switzerland must fulfil the requirements of the ISPM 15 international phytosanitary standard. Wooden packaging must bear a brand mark consisting of the IPPC logo (International Plant Protection Conference), a 2-letter ISO country code, code which identifies the manufacturer and a code that shows how the wood has been treated.
Wood packaging of goods imported from the United Kingdom after Brexit
If you import goods from the United Kingdom packaged on pallets or in wooden crates, make sure all wooden packaging is treated against harmful organisms. Packaging wood also needs to be marked in line with the ISPM 15 international standard. This is necessary because the United Kingdom has left the European Union on 31 January 2020. This means the UK is considered a third country. The UK has also introduced additional rules for importing products from the EU. Check the Brexit Portal Import pages for further developments (in Dutch), the Get ready for Brexit website, Brexit news from the Dutch government and What does Brexit mean for my customs matters. Make sure you take steps to prepare in time.