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Importing Wood Products Into the U.S.

If you are importing wood products into the United States, you should be aware of the many rules and regulations surrounding wood product imports.

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The United States is the biggest consumer of wood products in the world, but there are many rules and regulations surrounding wood product imports.

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) works to eliminate alien pests and diseases from wood imports before they enter the United States by using heat treatments or chemical treatments.

To comply with APHIS regulation, each importer must obtain a Timber and Timber Products Import Permit (PPQ form 585) to accompany his wood shipments. The import permit specifies the type of treatment needed for the shipment. Importers can apply for the permit online on the APHIS ePermit website.

Other restrictions to be aware of:

  • Wood products containing bark that are imported from China may not be allowed, to prevent the spread of wood-boring insects in the US.
  • If the wood is of an endangered species, it falls under regulations detailed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). A list of these species can be found at their website database: http://www.speciesplus.net

Endangered products must follow some or all of these requirements before they enter into the US:

  • A USDA-issued general permit, valid for two years
  • Certificates issued by CITES representative organizations in exporting countries that state that the product will not be detrimental to the survival of the species and the specimen was not obtained in contravention of the laws of that country, for the protection of fauna and flora
  • Certificates issued by the CITES representative organization within the United States
  • Shipment must arrive at a US port of entry sanctioned to receive CITES-listed species

If you have questions about importing wood products, please don't hesitate to ask your Flexport team!

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