Incense sticks have been widely used since ancient times, but only really became popular in the west over the last several decades. Uses for incense sticks around the globe include things like aromatherapy, religious applications, and cultural celebrations.
When importing incense sticks, businesses primarily turn to countries like China and India. Due to the fact that incense sticks are combustible, they must comply with regulations from the USDA and require special care to be imported.
We realize importing is a fast-paced business, so if you need immediate assistance before reading the entire article, our team is just a phone call or email away. Consult with our Licensed Customs Brokers today to get definitive answers to a variety of importing questions. We’ll provide a step-by-step guide detailing exactly what needs to be done to maximize market potential and smell the success of importing incense sticks.
Incense sticks, as the name implies, are made up of organic material such as wood to be burned to release an infused fragrance. While incense can come in many different forms, we will focus on the most popular form, mass-produced and shipped around the world.
The trading of incense dates back centuries and was once a major economic sector. In some cultures, incense was a precious commodity and even presented as a gift. The Biblical account of the birth of Jesus highlights the presentation of Frankincense to the child by the Three Wise Men who traveled a great distance to mark the occasion. The incense used today makes an even longer journey to reach consumers here in the U.S.
Some incense sticks contain a heat source that can be combustible. Types of incense sticks include:
While the material used to craft incense sticks depends on the location and cultural norms of the region they are created in, bamboo sticks, sandalwood and fragrant oils are popular materials used. Incense in some areas is still made by hand in a detailed process. Mass production of incense sticks, however, has made this process faster.
In what’s known as dipping with direct-burning incense, the core is then submerged or dipped into the fragrance or essential oil that will be released when burned. Whether consumers decide on a direct-burn or indirect-burn incense, the selection of aromas varies depending on preference.
As more consumers explore the benefits of incense and incorporate the practice into their everyday lives, the global market works to keep pace. Religious ceremonies make up a large sector of the market for incense sticks, as do celebrations and the marking of significant life events. While the intended use may dictate what incense brand you select, there are certainly plenty of incense varieties to choose from, covering a variety of categories.
Popular uses for incense sticks include:
While incense didn’t gain popularity in the U.S. until the last two decades, it’s been a part of the fabric of daily life in countries like China, India and Vietnam for centuries - all of whom are some of the largest global exporters of incense sticks. And while most refer to these fragrant sticks as incense, there are many other names that they go by around the globe.
Other names for incense include:
The agarbatti industry in India is a well-positioned sector of the India GDP. As mentioned earlier, Frankincense dates back to Biblical days, and the term Ketoret, a Hebrew word, is used in Jewish customs.
The burning of incense is also very popular in Vietnamese culture. Vietnam, which also uses the word “incense”, burns the commodity like other countries in Asia to celebrate the New Year, to signify milestones, and to burn in religious settings. It’s a part of everyday life to set the atmosphere in a home or make an offering at the altar.
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Incense sticks are meant to burn, and for that reason, they are classified as hazardous materials when shipped. There are a number of guidelines that international freight must meet before it can be imported. Incense is made out of plant material so the USDA regulates the importation of these goods.
In addition, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) also has to sign off on freight coming into the U.S. A licensed customs broker can help you get all of the right documentation in place and make sure all the right agencies have approved the incoming shipment of your incense sticks. Depending on the point of origin for each batch of incense sticks, there are different rules pertaining to clearing customs at the port of entry.
Deciding to work with a customs broker means teaming up with an expert to get your freight delivered. Only a logistics expert can navigate the requirements necessary to ship a variety of commodities with ease, answer questions and provide competitive quotes in a seamless process.
Keeping up with all of the rules and regulations can seem overwhelming when your focus is to get freight shipped problem-free, especially when working with freight from foreign countries. There is a lot to understand and adhere to in order to keep your freight from getting stuck on a loading dock. Rely on the expertise of a licensed customs broker whose job it is to worry about these details.
The benefits of choosing a Licensed Customs Broker include:
Our goal is to make importing goods to the U.S. a seamless process from point of origin to port of entry and final delivery. In addition to the wealth of experience we bring to the table, our sister company R+L Global Logistics is able to meet the daily demands and keep the supply chain of importing incense sticks rotating with ease and precision.
Supply chain services include:
And the list of services continues. Schedule a consultation session to discuss how Licensed Customs Brokers successfully import incense sticks from around the globe.
When it comes to shipping incense sticks, we provide shippers with flexible options to keep freight moving smoothly. The team at USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International, is ready to put their expertise to work and find the right import solution for you.
Any importing freight, especially from foreign manufacturers, can be challenging if you don’t understand certain aspects. This is where a licensed customs broker can act on your behalf and get everything done professionally and with expertise so you don’t lose time or money. Why not let an expert guide you through each step of the process, check off everything that needs to be done, identify the right documents, and get approvals lined up once the freight is ready to load.
Contact us today for one-on-one assistance from our team of experts to answer pertinent importing questions. We’re here to offer help and support during the importing process and keep shippers in the loop when it comes to importing incense sticks. Access the tools you need to navigate customs with ease. Call 855-912-0406 today to obtain a customs bond or schedule a consulting session for an upcoming import shipment.