What are the International Requirements for Shipping Crates?

Shipping goods internationally is a complex process. From couriers to customs, there are a lot of things to consider in order to ensure that your goods arrive safely at their destination.

Every country has its own requirements for the goods that come through its borders. It’s extremely important to check the requirements specific to the country you’re shipping to in order to make sure that things go smoothly.

That being said, there are a few common requirements to keep in mind when preparing to ship internationally. Find out more in this article!


Most countries require wooden crates and packing materials to carry an ISPM 15 stamp, also known as a bug stamp. The stamp certifies that the wood used to make the crates is free of insects, pests and fungus. The ISPM 15 stamp is part of the International Plant Protection Convention, a treaty that has been signed by over 180 countries.

ISPM 15 rules require crates to be made of wood that has been heat treated or fumigated to destroy insects and fungus. Once the wood pieces have been treated, they are stamped with ISPM 15, the company logo and the date the treatment was carried out.

The purpose of the ISPM 15 is to ensure that infested wooden crates do not contaminate other cargo en route.


There are important documents that need to be included when shipping goods abroad. Here are a few of them:

  • Bill of lading: A receipt for freight services that includes information about the mode of transportation and the route.
  • Packing list: Information about the cargo, from weight and volume to value.
  • Commercial invoice: A proof of sale that includes details about the value of the shipment for customs purposes and information about the parties involved.
  • Certificate of origin: A document that certifies that the goods were obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a specified country.
  • Letter of credit: A guarantee of payment issued by a bank.

Note that this list is not exhaustive. Always check which documents are needed for the country you’re shipping to, and consult a customs broker if need be.

Height and weight

While cargo height and weight limits aren’t a hard and fast rule, shipping companies will likely require prior approval permits for the following:

  • Cargo that is over 70” high
  • Cargo that is over 119” long
  • Cargo that is over 80” wide
  • Cargo that weighs over 2,200 lbs

For ease of shipping and handling, it’s best for your cargo to be on a pallet or skid with at least 3.5” of clearance so that it can be lifted by a forklift or pallet jack. Crates with built-in pallets are ideal for this purpose.

Fulfill international shipping crate requirements with Creopack

If crates don’t meet requirements, they may be refused at customs and returned to their country of origin at the cost of the shipper. It’s important to meet all requirements in order to avoid delays and extra fees.

Creopack offers a complete range of crates, boxes and other packaging products that are tailor-made to meet requirements and protect the goods they contain. We serve a wide variety of industries and are constantly innovating to provide the very best crating services on the market. Contact us for all of your international shipping crate needs!

Get a free quote for fully compliant international shipping crates.