Did you know that the United States is the biggest consumer of wood products in the world? Despite its common use, there are many rules around the import of wood and timber products. Importing wood to the USA might seem like a daunting prospect, but it doesn’t have to be. Learn some tips for importing wood to USA to help make the process simple.
To meet APHIS regulations, wood importers must get a Timber and Timber Products Import Permit to go with wood shipments. You can obtain this required permit by completing PPQ Form 585. You can apply for this permit online.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees the import of wood products through the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). APHIS sets the rules and regulations around the import of wood and timber products.
APHIS works to eliminate foreign pests and diseases from wood and wood products. APHIS requires that wood is heat treated or receives chemical treatments before entering the U.S. Heat treatment involves processing the wood in a kiln or microwave energy dryer. Chemical treatment involves fumigating the wood with a surface pesticide.
It takes approximately 30 days to receive the permit, so you will need to file in advance. The import permit indicates the type of treatment the wood requires: heat treatment or chemical treatment. You will also likely need a phytosanitary permit to import wood and wood products.
APHIS will also likely need to inspect your imported wood or timber products. APHIS inspection stations are located strategically near major seaports and airports. You can find APHIS inspection stations in:
At the inspection stations, APHIS agents and specialists examine imported wood and timber to make sure it is free of diseases and pests that could be damaging to U.S. natural resources and agriculture. These specialists also make sure the wood and timber adhere to Federal import permitting requirements and regulations.
It is important to know that wood products with bark imported from China might not be allowed to prevent the spread of wood-boring insects.
According to information from the USDA, all raw softwood lumber should be consigned to a facility with a valid compliance agreement with Plant Protection and Quarantine when the lumber is imported. The lumber and wood products must be heat treated within 30 days of release from the first port of arrival.
The USDA also states that the only softwood logs that are allowed entry into the U.S. are the Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) from New Zealand and Chile and Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) from Chile.
If the wood you are importing comes in the form of trees from either natural or planted forest stands, you will need to fill out of declarations form. This form is very specific, asking for information such as the tree’s scientific name, country of harvest, value, and description.
If the wood you are importing is of an endangered species, it will fall under guidelines set by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES listed types of wood and timber products include African Teak, Brazilian Rosewood, among others.
CITES rules also require that:
Teak is an important type of imported wood. Known for being watertight, teak wood is a hardwood commonly used in indoor and outdoor furniture, boats, flooring, decking and paneling. Teak is typically grown in Central America, Indonesia and India.To import teak, you’ll need to file for an import permit and complete other documentation. You’ll also have to pay import duties and fees. One of our Licensed Customs Broker can help you with this process.
You can start the teak import process by finding a supplier in the country of origin. From there, you will need to file PPQ Form 585, obtain a phytosanitary permit and pay any fees. Then you can confirm shipping arrangements with the supplier or handling agent. Teak can enter the country at many U.S. ports, so it might be wise to find one close to where the teak will be used or sold.
Finished wood products, like wood furniture, are commonly imported to the U.S. You need to follow a few special rules when importing wood furniture. These rules help deter illegal logging and protect the U.S. from invasive species of insects. These rules also protect U.S. markets.
When importing wood furniture, you must follow the same inspection and permitting processes as with other wood products.
There might be some extra fees associated with importing wood from certain countries. It is important to note that wood furniture imported from China is also subject to anti-dumping duties. According to rules set in place by the Tariff Act of 1930, the U.S. government can place tariffs on goods sold at less than market value and “dumped” on U.S. markets. Furniture imported from China is often less expensive than U.S. manufactured furniture and that makes anti-dumping rules apply. Wood furniture imported from China is often subject to these extra duties.
Need more information about importing wood to USA? Make the process easy and contact USA Customs Clearance today. Our Licensed Customs Brokers handle your wood importing and shipping needs. You will find our value-added customs brokerage services can work seamlessly to provide you with a stress-free importing process. Have questions or ready to get started? Click the chat box in the bottom right corner of your screen and we can answer your questions right now!