Importing Wood to USA

April 17, 2018
Laura Isaacs
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.
Voiced by Amazon Polly

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.

Do I Need an Import Permit?

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.

Is an Inspection Required?

APHIS agents and specialists examine imported wood and timber

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:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Puerto Rico
  • Texas
  • Washington

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.

Are There Special Conditions to Import Wood Products?

The only softwood logs that are allowed entry into the U.S. are the Monterey Pine

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.

Do I Need to Fill Out a Declarations Form?

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.

Can I Import Endangered Wood?

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:

  • You have a certificate that indicates the country where the wood was harvested and that no laws were broken during harvest.
  • The certificate was issued by a CITES representative.
  • The shipment of imported furniture must arrive at a U.S. port approved to handle CITES-listed species.

How Do I Import Teak Wood?

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.

Can I Import Finished Wood Products?

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.

Ready to Get Started?

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!

52 comments on “Importing Wood to USA”

  1. Hello,

    I am planning to import furniture from Indonesia to the US (Baltimore would be the entry point).
    We are starting this fall with one 20 ft container, with a Door to Port contract.
    Can you help us from there (custom clearance and inspection?) ?
    Thanks

  2. I want to import a drum made in the Philippines from recycled 'Pterocarpus indicus'. Can this be brought in to the USA? Thanks, Bill

  3. Hello, i am considering importing finished wood products such as furnishings, wood. Carved accents and art work from Suriname. Can you tell me what guidelines need to be followed and how this is done? The port of entry would be California. I live in Southern California. Where would be the closest port? I don't have a particular vendor/manufacturer selected yet. What should i focus on when doing so?

  4. Hello,

    I bought about 6 planks of wood (Pilòn, Zapatero, or “Bully Wood”, scientific name “Hyeronima alchorneoides”) from a reputable sawmill in Costa Rica. The wood or Tree, is not threatened nor on the CITES list. They are finished planks, have been heat treated and ready for use.

    I am a collector of wood specifically for artistic purposes.

    All pieces have been kiln dried and heat treated. The pieces are small enough to fit in a duffle bag and I plan on putting them in “checked luggage” at the airport with final destination of Atlanta.

    I will declare them on the form. Is there anything else that I need to do?

  5. i bought stock lot 5 containers of homecentre furnatures from Dubai UAE ( made in various countries , china,Italy ,turkey ,malesya ) Is it required to get a permit or declarations to imported to USA , new york ? thanx

    1. Thank you for reaching out with your question. If you are importing for commercial purposes, you will need a Customs Bond to bring your furniture into the United States. Furniture is also subject to additional regulations and may require payment of additional duties/fees. One of our import specialists will be in contact soon to help you through the process.

  6. i bought stock lot 5 containers of homecentre furnatures from Dubai UAE ( made in various countries , china,Italy ,turkey ,malesya ) Is it required to get a permit or declarations to imported to USA , new york ? thanx

    1. Thank you for reaching out with your question! If you are importing for commercial purposes, you will need a customs bond to import your containers into the United States. Also, because you are shipping furniture, your import will be subject to additional inspection and potentially additional fees/duties. Someone from our import team will be in touch soon to help you with the process.

  7. Thank you for your question. If you are importing teakwood for commercial use, you will need a customs bond to gain entry into the United States. Wood imports are also subject to regulations under the Lacey Act and may require additional fees/duties. One of our import specialists will be in touch soon to help.

  8. Hello Everyone,

    I am planning to send Medium-Density Fibreboard (MDF) cutouts to USA for a friend. Is there any restrictions regarding this type/form or wood and is it less restrictive if I am sending small articles (easily fit in a 5.75in x 8.78in envelope ) vs. larger items that I have seen in the comments?

    Thanks in advance.

    Kind regards,
    Cam

    1. Thanks for reaching out with your question. Beginning October 1, 2009, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) began enforcement of the declaration requirements for goods such as medium density fiberboard (MDF). This means that your cutouts would fall under regulations in the Lacey Act and you'll need to declare your import including the genus, species, and country of harvest of all plants in the MDF. APHIS is a great source of info about this topic and can give you all the info you'll need to fill out your paperwork properly, even if you're sending it via parcel mail because it's so small.

      When you're ready to ship larger amounts of the board, reach out to us and we can help you with getting a bond secured. You can always chat with us by clickng on the button in the bottom right corner of the page. Thanks again!

  9. Hi,
    I intend to import logs from Scandinavian region into us for commercial construction purposes. Is this permissible under current wood import laws in US. What regulations, permits an duties will I be subject to?
    Thank you,

    1. Thanks for reaching out with your question. We can help you with your import and advise you on the regulations that your import will be subject to. One of our import specialists will be in touch soon.

  10. Hi,

    I'd like to import cnc plywood furniture from Central America, most likely Honduran plywood sheets, mostly made out of pine, CNC processed in El Salvador, and exported and warehoused in Los Angeles for local distribution through the USA. These furniture would not be assembled when arriving into the USA and sold in this condition to be put together for DIY enthusiasts. What type of permits would I be needing and could you help me with all the paperwork and process?

    Thanks

  11. Hello,

    I am interested in importing Yellowood (Podocarpus Latifolius) into the US from South Africa or possible another African country depending on availability. This is a softwood and I already have the import permit. I am wondering how to have the phytosanitary procedures carried out, and how to find a location in those countries to have it done. I tried many resources including SGS, but was not able to find what I needed. Also if I am planning to only impot 30kg or less, what is the most economical meyhod of transport to the USA from SA?

    Thank you.

  12. I am looking to import 700 square feet of used Japanese cherry wood flooring from B.C. Canada for personal use. Cost around $1300. Do I need to have permits prior to bring it into the country? Or inspections at the US port of entry? Thank you.

    1. Thanks for reaching out with your question! If you are importing the flooring for commercial purposes, you'll need a customs bond filed and that's something we can definitely help with. If you're importing the wood for your own personal use, you won't need a customs bond, but you'll still be held to the regulations estabished by Customs and Border Protection, The US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and potentially others. We can help answer any other questions you may have, just click on the chat button in the bottom right corner of the page.

  13. Dear!
    I want to export plywood from Vietnam to USA. Pls help me to clear all Customs procedures for imported plywood in USA. Thank you

  14. Hello, I want to sell a wood ladder built in Douglas Fir from Canada to the USA on eBay. What are the requirements? Thanks!

    1. Unless you are selling Ladders on Ebay as a business, you would not need a customs bond. Customs and Border Protection is a good resource for more information about importing for personal use.

  15. Hello
    I'm looking to import Mahogany from Fiji Islands to Washington state What all would I need to keep in mind to be able to import large quantity.

    Thank you.

    1. Thanks for reaching out with your question! The quantity is less important than whether or not you are importing this wood for personal use or for business. If it's for your own personal home or a project you're working on, you won't need a customs bond to import the Mohogany into the US. However, if you are importing it for use in a business or to resell, you will need a customs bond to clear US Customs and Border Protection. Wood is also subject to additional regulations due to the risk to our ecosystem here in the US due to pests, etc. We will reach out to you via email to get more information and see how we can help further.

  16. Hi, I am looking to ship wood planks from Japan to the US. Some will be kiln-dried lumber and some will be reclaimed wood from a 300 year old farm house. Looking for some initial guidance on what I will need to do.
    Thanks!

    1. Thanks for reaching out with your question! We can definitely help you get your wood from Japan to the US. One of our import specialists will get an email over to you to help you through the process.

  17. Hi There,

    I am wanting to bring in a bunch of inherited heirlooms and furniture- mainly crockery, books and antique wooden furniture. Some has signs of borer (wood eating insect) so I intend to have the whole consignment fumigated before it is packed and sent.

    The fumigation company says they need the methyl bromide dosage rate and the USA phytosanitary requirements ICPR....

    What else do I need to know/ do/ supply?

  18. I currently temporarily live in Ontario, Canada and I purchased a 5-foot tall carved bear from a white pine tree from a local artisan. I will be returning to the USA in the fall and wish to bring the bear back with me. My company will have professional move all my belongings, including the bear. What do I need to do to get the bear to my home in Ohio,USA

    1. Because your import is for personal use, you will not need a Customs Bond. However, you will still need to file some paperwork with Customs and Border Protection. Your bear carving would be considered a work of art and therefore would not be subject to additional tariffs or duties, however you will have to fill out a CBP Form 7523 to submit to Customs. You will also need to provide proof of the type of wood the carving is made of and proof that it has been fumigated before it will be allowed into the US.

  19. hi
    I wanted to know if need any permit to import finish bamboo products from China into the United States and do I have to pay anti-dumping duties on finish bamboo products. What kind of duty should i expect to pay on them? I understand that I will need to get a custom broker or use a freight forwarder company when I decided to import these products. Are Custom broker and Freight forwarder the same?
    thanks

    1. We offer consulting services where we are able to walk you through all the info you’ll need including the document requirements, clearing customs and any duties and fees you may be responsible for. We can also help you understand the new tariffs and duties that you may need to pay because you are importing from China. When you're ready, we can also handle filing your paperwork with Customs and Border Protection. While a customs broker and freight forwarder are not the same thing, we can assist with the actual shipping of your bamboo from China into the US, as well. We will email you the details so we can get started.

  20. Hi, I'd like to import 1 to 2 pieces of teak wood furniture from Canada to each of 1) California Bay area and 2) Florida.
    Can someone please email us back on what's involved and how much? Thanks. Chat box is not working.

  21. I'd like to ship an old teak wood chest from Germany to the US.
    My parents acquired it around 1965 and it has been in our family's possession since.
    I inherited it from my recently deceased mother and would like to keep it as a family heirloom.
    Do I need to anticipate any obstacles bringing it from Germany to the US?
    Thanks.

    1. Even though the Teak wood chest is old, it isn't considered an antique. Your chest would be considered "household goods" and will still require customs declaration forms to be filled out and submitted. Because your import is for personal use, you won't need a customs bond, but you'll still be subject to duties and fees as well as documentation about the furniture. If you need help, we do offer consulting services, but you can probably find all the info you need on the Customs and Border Protection website.

  22. Hi, I am importing some garden tools from China with wooden handles that come in a wooden box. What forms do I need to fill out to import these to the USA? The wood is pine.

    1. The quantity of tools that you'll be importing and whether they are for business of personal use will play a part in how you should proceed. If you're importing the tools for business or resale, chances are you'll need a customs bond. Because the tools have wooden handles you might have to show Customs and Border Protection proof of the type of wood direct from the manufacturer. If you need help navigating the process of importing these garden tools, we're here to help. You can click on the chat button in the bottom right corner of the page to speak to an import specialist on our team.

  23. Hello, I'll be going to Puerto Rico next month for vacation, and I want to ship back some hardwood or burl. Is this legal? I don't know what species yet though but it'll be just the actual wood. Can you please tell me what procedures (and if any paperwork is required and if so, with whom do I file it with) I'll need to do this (and if it's different for a certain species) so I can have everything in place beforehand or if this is even possible?

    1. Because Puerto Rico is a teritory of the United States, you won't need a customs bond, however the nature of your shipment makes this a little tricky. For any untreated "timber or timber products" the USDA requires a permit. The wood would also need to be fumigated prior to shipment to ensure there are no pests living inside that could have an impact on the ecosystem in the continental US. You'll need to fill out declaration paperwork to identify the type of wood you'll be shipping and there may be fees you'll be responsible for. Because your shipment is not for commercial purposes, we can't help with the shipment but you can take a look at the following resources that might be of some assistance:
      https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/720/~/import-and-export-requirements-for-wood-packaging-material-(wpm)-into-the-u.s.
      https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/permits/plants-and-plant-products-permits/sa_logs_and_lumber/ct_wood_faqs
      https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/permits/plants-and-plant-products-permits/sa_logs_and_lumber/ct_wood

  24. Hello, for an adventure construction proyect I need to import wooden products from Spain to USA. There are 3 types of wood.
    1. Solid pine wood certified with the NIMF 15 standard for packaging.
    2. OSB paneles: oriented strand board, panel made of kiln dried wood chips and adhesives. It will be used for packaging.
    3. The final product is made of glued laminated timber, GL24, spruce (kiln dried during the manufacturing process).
    Until now for the wood fo point 2 and 3 I only have quality certificates, but nothing else.
    Do I need any other certificate or comply with any other standard to import it into USA.
    I saw that I will need to fulfill the PPQ 585 form. What else will I need to fulfill.
    Many thanks and kind regards, Daniel.

  25. I would like to buy a teak coffee table carving (42" x 20") here in Bangkok and take it home to Florida. Can I get the store to package it up and take it home as checked baggage? If not, please advise the requirements.

    Warmest Regards, Ray

    1. Thanks for reaching out with your question. We would advise reaching out to your airline and see what regualtions they have in place for transporting that type of "baggage" home with you on a commercial flight.

  26. Hello I read the info above, and i'd like to know ..
    I will be participating in an USA trade exhibition and will send the exhibition stand, wood panels to the USA to set up the exhibition stand.
    The wood panels are painted and heat treated.. Do I need any certification for fumigation, they will be transported by ocean freight. Please advice

  27. I am looking to import a small plywood product from China to USA. It is screen printed on front side and uncoated on back. Do i need the raw side to be sprayed, coated or treated? Do I need any other certificate from my manufacture or comply with any other standard to import it into USA. I look forward to your reply Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Article

June 13, 2018
Do You Need an Import License to Import Into the United States?
The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that does not require an import license. Other cou...
Read More Now
May 15, 2018
What Can Customs Bond Agents Do For You?
The customs bond guarantees that the importer will pay the taxes and duty at the port of entry. On t...
Read More Now
April 25, 2018
What Does a Customs Bond Cover?
A customs bond is a required document that acts as an insurance policy, but what exactly does a cust...
Read More Now