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Freight from the USA

Above is the real-time freight cost calculator for shipping cargo in boxes and crates from the USA abroad. Select your destination country to begin calculating international shipping costs.

Wood-packing restrictions and cargo fumigation

Nowadays, all countries worldwide are more or less restricted in exporting and importing goods packed with raw wood. These restrictions in international cargo transportation are known as wood-packing restrictions or ISPM15 rules. These rules prevent the spread of diseases and the larvae of harmful insects.

International cargo shippers should always consider these restrictions when shipping cargo from the USA overseas. In general, you should know that shipping cargo packed with raw wood materials is prohibited in international cargo transportation, regardless of the mode of transportation. In international shipping, you must pack loads using wood materials that comply with the ISPM rules: certified and stamped wood, plywood, plastic, etc.

If you ship boxes, crates, or pallets from the USA, you must pay attention to the certification of pallets you use and build crates using plywood or other kinds of heat-treated wood that comply with ISPM15.

If destination country officials find that an international shipping cargo contains raw wood packing materials, the entire shipment may require fumigation, which is a complicated and costly process.

However, the wood-packing restrictions apply to packing materials, not shipping goods.

ISPM stamp. Certified wood packing

Do not confuse the wood-packing restrictions in international cargo transportation with the fumigation of cargo shipping to Oceania, known as BMSB (Brown Marmorated Stink Bug) regulations. Particularly when shipping goods from the USA to Australia and New Zealand.

Cargo shipping to Oceania has to be entirely fumigated. You may try to avoid paying for fumigation before your shipment departs from the USA by considering lists of high-risk goods in the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) and New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) websites. However, we highly recommend that our customers always fumigate any cargo shipping directly to Australia or New Zealand by the ocean freight carrier used in their international cargo transportation. Depending on the carrier, you will pay a reasonable price in the USA, usually $30 per cubic meter, $100-$300 minimum. In this case, you ensured you would not face problems and penalties at the destination. If destination officials find that arriving freight does not comply with BMSB, then the fumigation at the destination can be complex, and charges and penalties are enormous.


ISPM15 in international cargo transportation (Wood-packing) 

Wood packing restrictions in international cargo transportation are also known as ISPM 15 rules. It also applies to shipping from the USA cargo that contains wooden packing materials.

ISPM 15 prevents the spreading plant pests and diseases worldwide by shipping international freight using packing materials and supplies containing raw wood. The International Plant Protection Convention originated these international shipping regulations with the United Nations (IPPC). ISPM 15 rules apply to shipping boxes, crates, and pallets that contain wood packaging material: wooden boxes, wooden pallets, wooden crates, dunnages, drums, wood cases, etc. In certain circumstances, other restrictions related to pest control in international cargo transportation, including shipping cargo from the USA, may apply to the freight. The most restricted countries are Australia and New Zealand. For example, refer to the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

ISPM15 requires that all international freight shipping from the USA using any species of raw wood packaging must be fumigated or heat treated. The treatment must be done before any boxes, crates, or pallets are submitted for shipping from the USA to kill insects or fungi. All wood packing materials used in international shipping from the USA must be stamped with approved IPPC stamps. All cargo shipping from the USA overseas will be checked for compliance with the ISPM15 regulations before the release to depart from the U.S. and at the time of entry to a participating IPPC country.

Below is a sample of IPPS stamps on wooden pallets used in shipping cargo from the USA. The same stamps are required for shipping from the USA boxes and crates that contain wood packing materials unless a fumigation certificate is attached. Sometimes, officials at the origin and destination countries may request fumigation certificates even though freight packing is stamped.

U.S. ocean freight

Such a stamp proves that the packaging has been heat-treated and complies with ISPM15 regulations. Failure to comply with ISPM15 rules may result in severe problems in shipping goods from the USA abroad. Suppose wooden boxes, crates, or pallets shipping from the U.S. overseas are packed with natural wood without ISPM15 stamps. In that case, cargo can be refused for international transportation and returned to be fumigated or repacked.

The United States of America has implemented ISPM 15 on all freight shipping to the USA since 2010. All cargo entered into the United States that does not comply with ISPM15 will require immediate fumigation. Otherwise, it is prohibited from entering the U.S. and must be re-exported or destroyed.

Participating in IPPC, the United States prohibits shipping any cargo from the USA that does not treat wood packing on the government level. All U.S. and not U.S. carriers involved in cargo transportation from the USA will check shipping boxes, crates, and pallets on ISPM15 compliance before releasing for transportation out of the U.S. Any problems, delays, and penalties on shipping from the USA cargo that does not comply with ISPM 15 are shippers' responsibility and on shippers' accounts. Any problems, delays, fees, and penalties related to ISPM 15 that occurred at destinations or during trans-shipping cargo from the USA are consignees' responsibilities and on consignees' accounts.


Avoid problems related to ISPM15.

Think ahead. Avoid problems related to ISPM 15 regulations in shipping goods from the USA overseas. Actually, the ISPM15 restrictions should not scare you. The most important thing is to understand that the ISPM 15 rules regulate how you pack your goods, not the cargo itself. It prohibits using non-manufactured wood packing materials (called solid wood packaging materials or SWPM). Goods shipping from the USA is not subject to ISPM15. ISPM15 does not apply to the commodity.

Non-manufactured wood packing materials in respect of shipping boxes, crates, and pallets from the USA are defined as "wood packing other than comprised wholly of wood-based products such as plywood, particleboard, oriented strand board, veneer, wood wool, etc., which has been manufactured using glue, heat, and pressure or a combination thereof."

The easiest way to avoid problems related to the ISPM15 regulations in international deliveries from the USA is not to use non-manufactured wood packing materials. Ship goods from the USA overseas using certified pallets, and pack your cargo in cardboard boxes, plywood, veneer, etc. If you can, do not use any wood in your packing at all. Use plastic shipping supplies.

When you pack your goods for international shipping from the USA, keep in mind the following:

Plastic pallet for international shipping of ocean freight                   Plastic crates for international shipping sea freight

The ISPM15 regulations in shipping goods from the USA overseas fall into two key areas:

  1. The shipping freight itself and,
  2. Providing proper shipping documentation related to ISPM15.

That means that besides properly packing internationally shipping cargo, you should pay attention to the ISPM15-related documentation. The documents must be submitted to the ocean freight carrier before the cargo is realized for shipping from the U.S. 

Different countries in the world have different levels of restrictions related to ISPM15. For example, if you are shipping cargo from the USA to Australia or New Zealand, your cargo and ISPM15-related documents will be checked especially strictly. Load trans-shipped via Hong Kong or Singapore will most likely be subject to ISPM15 documentation verification as well. Types and forms of such documents may vary from country to country.


Cargo fumigation in shipping goods from the USA

Ocean freight carriers have implemented the following Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) fumigation requirements for shipping freight from the USA to Oceania:

The seasonal measures for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) regulations are outlined in the respective websites of Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) and New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI).
Shippers should be guided by their consignees and consignees' customs brokers regarding the applicability of the regulation to their shipments. Due to the nature of the requirements, the cost for non-compliance and the expense for onshore treatment in Australia / New Zealand will be for the cargo account and could be significant.
In short, the regulation requires that all shipments deemed high risk by DAWR and MPI standards be treated before loading from high-risk origin countries named by the USA. With consolidated cargo, the rule states that if one shipment in the container is considered high risk, the entire container is regarded as high risk.
For this reason, ocean freight carriers will require that all shippers review the requirements to determine their shipment's risk and determine whether the cargo requires fumigation. Ocean freight carriers will require a signed declaration from the shipper before considering any load for loading.
Typically, ocean freight carriers will be providing fumigation services for LCL at load ports and gateways, and the below measures will be in effect:

  • A completed BMSB form will be required for all shipments.
  • For LCL, shipments deemed as HIGH RISK by the DAWR or MPI will typically be subject to the fee of $30 w/m with a minimum of $100-$300 per shipment, depending on the carrier. 
  • Sulfuryl Fluoride will be the treatment used.
  • If your shipment is deemed sensitive to the fumigant and CANNOT be fumigated, ocean freight carriers may offer non-fumigated services based on availability.
For FCL shipping from the USA, shippers must request in advance to obtain fumigation charges.
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