ATO Certification of Reefer Containers


Organisation behind ATO certification

The ATO certification program for reefer containers is executed by the multidisciplinary research organisation Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, part of Wageningen University & Research (The Netherlands). The site is merely dedicated to the ATO-certification program. Visit our website to get a general overview of our activities in the field of post-harvest technologies applied to food produces and of refrigerated transport.

Objective of ATO certification

The purpose of ATO certification of reefer containers by Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is to improve the quality preservation of flower bulbs during shipment by means of classifying the suitability of reefer containers for the transportation of flower bulbs. ATO certification primarily serves the interests of flower bulb shippers, as it supports them in serving their customers optimally. For this purpose ATO certification works in closed collaboration with Anthos organisation (Dutch Royal Trade association for Nursery stock and flower bulbs).
Insurance company requires the shipment of flower bulbs within ATO-certified reefer containers.
The ATO certification of reefer container assures to the container owners the extension of their cargo volume by transporting flower bulbs.

Minimum requirements for full ATO certification

An ATO-certified reefer container with the qualification 'Suitable for all destinations' has met the following minimum requirements:

  1. Fresh air exchange of empty container (at 380V/50Hz) at least 2.6 m3/h per m3 internal container volume.
  2. Air circulation inside empty container (at 380V/50Hz) at least 40 m3/h per m3 internal container volume.
  3. Height T-bars in 40 ft. containers at least 60 mm, in 20 ft. containers at least 30 mm.
  4. Four drain holes in the corners. What will happen if a container has less than 4 drain holes?

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The ATO-certification program will upgrade its ATO-test work procedure from 1st July 2021 in order to guarantee the quality of the ATO-test and the accuracies of the ATO-certificate.

From 1st July 2021 only trained surveyors of WFBR-recognized classification society will be allowed to witness the ATO-test and report these data to the website.

The list of WBFR-recognized classification societies will be published on this website later this month.

The WFBR-recognized Classification society is a classification society that is contractually associated with WBFR and that will be audited every three years by ATO-coordinator. The surveyors of these WFBR-recognized Classification society will attend regularly to an ATO-workshop to enhance the relevancy of ATO-certificate for intercontinental transport of flower bulbs.

If you have any questions about this new development n the ATO-certification procedure or if your classification society wish to be recognized by WFBR, please contact the ATO-coordinator or Dr. Zhen Liu. will be updated on Friday February 12 between 16:00 and 17:00 Central European Time.

In this period the site can be unavailable for some moments.
We apologize for the inconvenience.

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research

PO Box 17
NL-6700 AA Wageningen
The Netherlands

phone : +31 317 480084
email :

Build date: 2021 May 17
Version: 1.9.3