Wooden pallets are nowadays rubbish, although they could be used multiple times. In past times, transportation companies did lend you one within your delivery and carry one away in exchange. Since some years there is no more such exchange system. What a weird decision in these days of increasing interest towards environment.
Naturally it is an excellent business to sell one for client every time within delivery bill at a good price. Nowadays in every second corner are laying used pallets. If someone carries them near bin, maybe they end up later to some far-away-located waste incinerator. Anyway it is more ecological to burn them nearby, where they already are. They have pretty much of good quality firewood, so I have picked hundreds of pallets and burned them in home fireplaces.
Except the IPPC stamps! In this page you can see a selection of different stamps – all spotted, picked (but not burned!) here in my home town – in the middle of nowhere. The stamp contains various information, of which I am keen on the ISO country code and in some cases the region code. Here is a model of an IPPC stamp and a map of ISO 3166-1 Alpha-2 -codes for Europe and nearby areas:
Austria (and regions?) – seen pallet stamp country #25 (20210203)
A weak stamp interpretated as AT-N. N could refer to Niederösterreich, but subdivision names are listed in the ISO 3166-2 standard as AT-1, AT-2 etc. till AT-9. AT-O is also seen in Google pictures. Could be Oberösterreich.
AT-N (seen 20210203). Niederösterreich?
Belarus – no oblasts shown in coding system. They should be given in letters like BY-BR, BY-HO, BY-HR, BY-MA, BY-MI, BY-VI, BY-HM. This is a seen country stamp #20, found in winter 2020/21.
Belgium – no regions or provinces shown?
China – no province level subdivisions shown (they should be in letters, not numbers)
Czech Republic – it looks like there is no regional codes shown. Empty place after “-“.
DB stands for debarked, not for Deutsche Bahn.
České dráhy, often shortened to ČD, is the main railway operator in the Czech Republic providing regional and long-distance services.
Danish stamp in a Lithuanian pallet. Maybe fixed in Denmark. Same code was seen also in another pallet – from same producer?
Finland – no regional codes shown, there is no such high number as 22.
It looks like France shows at least regions on pallet stamp. FR-AQ must stand for Aquitaine, which was one of the main regions before the regional reform of Jan 1st, 2016. However, this format is not shown among former codes. For Aquitaine it should have been FR-B. France is a rarity among identified pallets, so their system might remain a long-time mystery for me. Based on a quick Google research, all French pallets seem to have format as “FR-AQ-10xxx”. So no regionality?
SNCF stands for The Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer français which is France’s national state-owned railway company.
Germany (and regions)
4911010 must refer to some bigger company, as it was again seen in February 2021:
DE-BY Bayern Bavaria
DE-BE Berlin Berlin
DE-HB Bremen Bremen
DE-HH Hamburg Hamburg
DE-HE Hessen Hesse
DE-MV Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
DE-NI Niedersachsen Lower Saxony
DE-NW Nordrhein-Westfalen North Rhine-Westphalia
DE-RP Rheinland-Pfalz Rhineland-Palatinate
DE-SL Saarland Saarland
DE-SN Sachsen Saxony
Also 497027 must be some big company, as it is a common sight (again in 2021!)
DE-ST Sachsen-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt
DE-SH Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein
DE-TH Thüringen Thuringia
Great Britain (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) – seen country stamp #24 (20210201). No regionality?
A bit unclear stamp interpretated as GB-FC311 HT. FC should be a regional identifier (see explanation a bit later), but a quick search in Google photos shows that GB-stamp is always followed by letters FC and various numbers. By the wat, in car register plates pre-2001 FC refers to Oxford.
Hungary – it looks like there is no regional codes shown. Empty place after “-“.
Transportation company MÁV:
Hungarian State Railways (Hungarian: Magyar Államvasutak, MÁV) is the Hungarian national railway company, with divisions “MÁV START Zrt.” (passenger transport), “MÁV-Gépészet Zrt.” (maintenance) and “MÁV-Trakció Zrt.”.
India – seen country stamp #23 (20210201)
Indian states and union territories are indicated in letters in format IN-XX. So far no regionality in stamps?
Italy (and regions)
Regions are shown in stamp as ISTAT codes (01-20) as follows:
Codici ISTAT delle regioni:
02 VALLE D’AOSTA
04 TRENTINO A. A.
05 VENETO – a weak stamp interpretated as IT-05-019
06 FRIULI V. G
08 EMILIA ROMAGNA
Transportation company: Ferrovie dello Stato
It looked in the beginning that Latvia is showing the origin of pallet in IPPC stamp. Currently for Latvia, ISO 3166-2 codes are defined for 110 municipalities and 9 republican cities.
LV-091 stands for Siguldas novads Sigulda municipality
As the biggest number should be LV-110 (Zilupes novads Zilupe municipality), this found gave me doubt, whether the municipalities were shown at all. Both could be simply the codes of various producers.
Lithuania – it looks like there is no regional codes shown. Empty place after “-“.
Numbers LT-01 – LT-60 are generally in use to identify municipalities. This stamp was easy to interpretate as 06/724 or 064724. LT-06 could mean Biržai district municipality. After seeing more clear stamp in another pallet, also the first one is clearly 004724. Need to look for more to be sure what is the system, for now it looks like no municipalities are shown.
“MA” is not yet seen on pallet, but it is very common what comes to the wooden fruit boxes.
Provinces are probably not shown, as they should be in format NL-DR, NL-FL etc.
Norway – #26 (seen in July 2021!). Regions are shown in numbers in coding system, but none of the codes is NO-9x. So far no regionality in Norwegian pallets?
Poland (and regions)
Poland seems to show regions based on ISO 3166-2 codes. Currently for Poland, ISO 3166-2 codes are defined for 16 voivodeships. Each code consists of two parts, separated by a hyphen. The first part is PL, the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code of Poland. The second part is two digits. Subdivision names are listed as in the ISO 3166-2 standard published by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (ISO 3166/MA). Subdivision names are sorted in Polish alphabetical order: a, ą, b-c, ć, d-e, ę, f-l, ł, m-n, ń, o, ó, p-s, ś, t-z, ź, ż.
PL-02 Dolnośląskie Lower Silesia
PL-04 Kujawsko-pomorskie Kuyavia-Pomerania
PL-06 Lubelskie Lublin
PL-08 Lubuskie Lubusz
PL-10 Łódzkie Łódź
PL-12 Małopolskie Lesser Poland
PL-14 Mazowieckie Mazovia
PL-16 Opolskie Opole (Upper Silesia)
PL-18 Podkarpackie Subcarpathia
PL-20 Podlaskie Podlaskie
PL-22 Pomorskie Pomerania
PL-24 Śląskie Silesia
PL-26 Świętokrzyskie Holy Cross
PL-28 Warmińsko-mazurskie Warmia-Masuria
PL-30 Wielkopolskie Greater Poland
PL-32 Zachodniopomorskie West Pomerania
Russia (and regions)
Russia shows regions based on this format picture.
Also because of the layout of this stamp (67 on it’s own row) and a huge country, I could guess that they do use number codes for different regions, but it is unclear which is the coding system. ISO 3166:2 standard codes should be in letters. 67 refers to Saratov in FIPS Region codes, and Smolensk in car register plates. Need to collect more to understand Russian pallet logic. Car plate system looks more probable.
01 Republic of Adygea
02, 102, 702 Republic of Bashkortostan
03 Republic of Buryatia
04 Altai Republic
05 Republic of Dagestan
06 Republic of Ingushetia
07 Kabardino-Balkar Republic
08 Republic of Kalmykia
09 Karachay-Cherkess Republic
10 Republic of Karelia
11 Komi Republic
12 Mari El Republic
13, 113 Republic of Mordovia
14 Sakha Republic
15 Republic of North Ossetia–Alania
16, 116, 716 Republic of Tatarstan
17 Tuva Republic
18 Udmurt Republic
19 Republic of Khakassia
(20), 95 Chechen Republic
21, 121 Chuvash Republic
22, 122 Altai Krai
23, 93, 123, 193 Krasnodar Krai
24, 84*, 88*, 124 Krasnoyarsk Krai
25, 125 Primorsky Krai
26, 126 Stavropol Krai
27 Khabarovsk Krai
28 Amur Oblast
29 Arkhangelsk Oblast
30 Astrakhan Oblast
31 Belgorod Oblast
32 Bryansk Oblast
33 Vladimir Oblast
34, 134 Volgograd Oblast
35 Vologda Oblast
36, 136 Voronezh Oblast
37 Ivanovo Oblast
38, 85*, 138 Irkutsk Oblast
39, 91 Kaliningrad Oblast
40 Kaluga Oblast
41, 82* Kamchatka Krai
42, 142 Kemerovo Oblast
43 Kirov Oblast
44 Kostroma Oblast
45 Kurgan Oblast
46 Kursk Oblast
47, 147 Leningrad Oblast
48 Lipetsk Oblast
49 Magadan Oblast
50, 90, 150, 190, 750, 790 Moscow Oblast
51 Murmansk Oblast
52, 152 Nizhny Novgorod Oblast
53 Novgorod Oblast
54, 154 Novosibirsk Oblast
55 Omsk Oblast
56, 156 Orenburg Oblast
57 Oryol Oblast
58 Penza Oblast
59, 81*, 159 Perm Krai
60 Pskov Oblast
61, 161, 761 Rostov Oblast
62 Ryazan Oblast
63, 163, 763 Samara Oblast
64, 164 Saratov Oblast
65 Sakhalin Oblast
66, 96, 196 Sverdlovsk Oblast
67 Smolensk Oblast
68 Tambov Oblast
69 Tver Oblast
70 Tomsk Oblast
71 Tula Oblast
72 Tyumen Oblast
73, 173 Ulyanovsk Oblast
74, 174, 774 Chelyabinsk Oblast
75, 80* Zabaykalsky Krai
76 Yaroslavl Oblast
77, 97, 99, 177, 197, 199, 777, 797, 799 Moscow
78, 98, 178, 198 St. Petersburg
79 Jewish Autonomous Oblast
80* Agin-Buryat Okrug / “Former Buryat Autonomous District of Aginskoye”
81* Komi-Permyak Okrug / “Former Komi-Permyak Autonomous District”
82 Republic of Crimea / “Former Koryak Autonomous District”
83 Nenets Autonomous Okrug (Nenetsia)
84* Taymyr Autonomous Okrug / “Former Taymyr (Dolgan-Nenets) Autonomous District”
85* Ust-Orda Buryat Okrug / “Former Buryat Autonomous District of Ust-Ordynskoy”
86, 186 Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug
87 Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
88* Evenk Autonomous Okrug / “Former Evenk Autonomous District”
89 Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
94 Territories outside of the Russian Federation, served by the bodies of internal affairs of the Russian Federation, such as Baikonur
Slovakia – no regions shown, as they should be in letters. Number 23 shouldn’t be existing
Slovenia is one of the recent sights (seen in 2020 or very beginning of 2021), being the country #21. In 2014, Slovenia was divided into 212 municipalities. SI-341 does not refer to any municipality (logic SI-001 – SI-213). So no regional codes?
Sweden (and counties)
Sweden shows the county in a pallet stamp. Currently for Sweden, ISO 3166-2 codes are defined for 21 counties. Each code consists of two parts, separated by a hyphen. The first part is SE, the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code of Sweden. The second part is one or two letters, which is the alphabetic code (Swedish: länsbokstav) of the county, and was used in vehicle registration plates until 1973.
SE-K Blekinge län [SE-10]
SE-W Dalarnas län [SE-20]
SE-I Gotlands län [SE-09]
SE-X Gävleborgs län [SE-21]
SE-N Hallands län [SE-13]
SE-Z Jämtlands län [SE-23]
SE-F Jönköpings län [SE-06]
SE-H Kalmar län [SE-08]
SE-G Kronobergs län [SE-07]
SE-BD Norrbottens län [SE-25]
SE-M Skåne län [SE-12]. On 1 January 1997 SE-L (Kristianstad) was merged with SE-M (Malmöhus) to form SE-M (Skåne county). In theory SE-M in this case could refer to Malmöhus too.
SE-AB Stockholms län [SE-01]
SE-D Södermanlands län [SE-04]
SE-C Uppsala län [SE-03]
SE-S Värmlands län [SE-17]
SE-AC Västerbottens län [SE-24]
SE-Y Västernorrlands län [SE-22]
SE-U Västmanlands län [SE-19]
SE-O Västra Götalands län [SE-14]. NB! Another option is “Göteborgs och Bohus län till 1999”
SE-T Örebro län [SE-18]
SE-E Östergötlands län [SE-05]
Lindex stamp in SE-K pallet
Former codes of Sweden
SE-A: Överståthållarämbetet i Stockholms stad till 1967
SE-B: Stockholms län (utom Stockholms stad) till 1967
SE-L: Kristianstads län till 1997
SE-M: Malmöhus län till 1997
SE-O: Göteborgs och Bohus län till 1999
SE-P: Älvsborgs län till 1999
SE-R: Skaraborgs län till 1999
Switzerland – #27 (seen 20211214).
Spain (and provinces)
Provinces are shown in IPPC stamp, very probably as INE codes (01-52) as follows:
07 Balears, Illes
12 Castellón/Castelló (province #1)
13 Ciudad Real
15 Coruña, A
35 Palmas, Las
26 Rioja, La
38 Santa Cruz de Tenerife
40 Segovia (province 3/52, spotted in 2021)
46 Valencia/València. Spain is often seen in wooden fruit boxes. ES-46 refers in INE codes to Valencia, which is also mentioned in the box itself.
Turkey was not seen in pallets before 2020’s, and then suddenly two in a row, being country #22.
TR-986 refers to nothing. There is no TR-98, meanwhile TR-9 should be simply TR-09.
TR-1058 could refer to Balıkesir TR-10, but the previous example shows there should not be a regional or local coding system in Turkey..
First code is unclear. I needed to pick more and it seems to be that the regions are not seen in the code. 14 could fit to Donetsk but 13 is not existing. No regions mentioned in format schema:
Heavy duty pallets that have the logo EUR on them are always 1200mm x 800mm and are made to exacting standards. The theory is that each one will be identical to the next. There are several brands of EUR pallets which have their own logo stamp, eg: EPAL, MAV or UIC.
The International Union of Railways (UIC, French: Union internationale des chemins de fer) is an international rail transport industry body.
EPAL: Approved by the European Pallet Association.
1001Pallets.com says other acronyms stamped on pallets may “indicate the name of the pallet inspection firm, a manufacturing company, or an uncommon type of wood.”
Pallets are treated to eliminate insects and parasites. Any pallet that is going to travel between countries must have a treatment stamp, even if no treatments have been applied. There are a few different treatment types, some of which are no longer used in the EU. All stamps consist of a two letter code which indicates the type of treatment applied, there are 5 possible treatment stamps commonly in use:
DB – Debarked. Just about all pallets are made from ‘debarked wood’ and all it means is that the bark of the tree has been removed from the wood used. This is done to ensure any other heat treatments can be applied efficiently to the wood.
HT – Heat Treated. This pallet has been heat treated to eliminate parasites and insects. The wood is heated to a minimum of 56°C (60°C for hardwoods) for at least 30 minutes.
KD – Kiln Dried. These pallets have been heated in a kiln to kill off any wood pests. Kiln drying can also help to avoid warping and fungal growth. Many lumber mills now kiln dry their wood to a higher temperature so that the wood can be categorised as both kiln dried and heat treated, marked with KD-HT.
DH – Dielectric Heated.
MB – Methyl Bromide. These have been treated with a highly toxic pesticide which can be necessary in certain regions of the world where there are pests that can’t be eliminated by heat treatments. You should never use pallets with a MB stamp on for a craft project and you should never burn these pallets on a fire.
Methyl bromide treatments have been out-lawed in many countries. Even though it’s been illegal to use MB pallets in many countries for a long time, we know how durable pallets are, there are still some in circulation, tucked away and forgotten about. So you must always look carefully and avoid anything with an MB stamp on it.
Before burning, I have had also several other methods to reuse pallets (of course without MB stamp) 🙂