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Freight from the USA
Avoid ISPM15 issues | Palletizing at CFS | BMSW

Wood-packing (ISPM15) and Fumigation (BMSB)

Announcement on shipping cargo from the USA to Australia and New Zealand!: Since 2019, any ocean freight to Oceania, departing from the USA to the destinations in Oceania during the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) season from 1st of September until 30th of April of each year, cannot be loaded unless a completed Fumigation Declaration, provided to the shipper along with our shipping instructions, is submitted to the ocean freight carrier.

The Fumigation Declaration must be submitted before cargo delivered to the ocean freight carrier's terminal (CFS). If such a declaration is not received, cargo will remain on hold. Otherwise, cargo should be fumigated at carriers’ facility for the typical fee of $30 w/m with a minimum of $100-$300 per shipment, depending on the carrier. The fee will be included in the carrier's ocean freight. If cargo arrives in Australia or New Zealand during the BMSB season and shippers do not provide a valid fumigation certificate or decline to fumigate their cargo by the ocean freight carrier, we cannot serve such shipments.

ISPM 15 rules in shipping cargo from the USA

Wood packing restrictions in international cargo transportation, also known as ISPM 15 rules, apply to all international freight that contains wooden packaging materials. These wood packing restrictions regulate by ISPM 15 rules and relate to preventing the spread of plant pests and diseases throughout the world when shipping cargo using packing materials containing raw wood.

These world shipping regulations were originated by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC - https://www.ippc.int/) in March 2002 in order to put an end to restrictions encountered worldwide, caused by a jumble of ever-varying import restrictions on wood.

In respect of shipping from the USA freight LCL, ISPM 15 rules particularly apply to shipping boxes, crates, and pallets that contain wood packaging material: wooden boxes, wooden pallets, wooden crates, dunnages, drums, wood cases, etc. Other restrictions related to pest control in international cargo transportation may apply to the shipping cargo itself in certain circumstances. The most restricted countries are Australia and New Zealand.

U.S. shippers should be aware that ISPM15 requires that any cargo shipping from the U.S. overseas using any species of raw wood packaging must be fumigated or heat treated. The treatment must complete before cargo departs from the USA. The fumigation should kill insects or fungus.

ispm15 mark in international shipping of sea freight

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

While shipping cargo out of the U.S., any wood-packing, which has been treated in accordance with ISPM demands must be branded with the official IPPC mark. This mark cancels out the need for a phytosanitary certificate. If the wood is found not to comply with ISPM 15 standards upon arrival at a destination port, the cargo may be confiscated by customs, sent back, or even destroyed. The costs of any of these will be charged to either the shipper or the consignee.

Below are samples of IPPS stamps on wooden pallets used in international cargo transportation from the USA overseas. The same stamps are required to ship from USA boxes and crates that contain wood packing materials unless a fumigation certificate is attached. Occasionally, officials at destinations may request fumigation certificates, regardless that the packaging is stamped.

 

US fumigation mark in ocean freight      U.S. ISPM 15 mark in ocean freight     ISPM15 mark in ocean freight pallet for the international shipping 

 

The ISPM 15 stamp on shipping boxes, crates, and pallets made using raw wood, proves that packaging has been heat-treated and comply with ISPM 15 regulations.

Avoiding problems related to ISPM 15 in shipping freight LCL

Think ahead. Avoid problems related to ISPM 15 regulations in shipping goods from the USA. The ISPM 15 restrictions on shipping cargo from the U.S. overseas should not scare you. Keep in mind that basically, the ISPM 15 rules regulate how you pack your shipping cargo, but the cargo itself. It prohibits using non-manufactured wood packing materials (also called solid wood packaging materials or SWPM). Most of the time, the commodity shipping from the USA overseas is not subject to ISPM 15.

Non-manufactured wood packing materials, in respect of shipping from the USA goods in boxes, crates, and on pallets, 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 ISPM 15 is not to use non-manufactured wood packing materials in international cargo transportation from the USA. Ship cargo from the USA on certified ISPM 15 pallets. Pack your goods with cardboard, plywood, veneer, etc. Otherwise, do not use wood in your packing at all. Use plastic shipping supplies.

When you pack your goods for transportation from the U.S. overseas, keep in mind the following:

  • Cargo delivery from the U.S. in cardboard shipping boxes complies with ISPM 15 regulations. You can use regular cardboard moving boxes purchased at U-Haul, Walmart, Office Depot, etc. For extra protection, we recommend using heavy-duty cardboard shipping boxes that are widely available online. Then you palletize your shipping boxes on certified or plastic pallets.

    Keep in mind that if you deliver your loose cardboard boxes to an ocean freight carrier's terminal (CFS), then the CFS will properly palletize and shrink wrap your boxes to the shipping from the USA on certified ISPM 15 stamped pallets for a fee of $35-50 per pallet, including the cost of the pallet. Use the opportunity. Do not palletize shipping boxes on your own. Deliver light shipping boxes to CFS and leave the palletizing to professionals. Besides, that loose shipping boxes are much easy to handle, most important that you will transfer responsibilities on ISPM 15 compliance to the CFS. Then your shipping boxes should not face any problems related to ISPM 15 during international transportation from the USA to the destination. 

    boxes for the international shipping

  • If you decided to palletize your cardboard boxes by yourself on wooden pallets, then use only ISPM 15 certified and stamped pallets. The same applies to ship crates from the USA. Never use not-certified raw wood packing materials in international cargo transportation.
     
    Pallets for international shipping with ISPM15 marks
        
  • Wood packaging wholly made of processed wood-based products, such as plywood, particleboard, oriented strand board, or veneer that have been created using glue, heat, and pressure or a combination thereof should be considered sufficiently processed to have eliminated the risk associated with the raw wood. It is unlikely to be infested by raw wood pests. Therefore should not be regulated and restricted by the ISPM 15 rules. However, if you ship from the U.S. a complex crate, proof of compliance with ISPM 15 may still be required.

    A complex crate for shipping from the US

  • Shipping goods from the USA that packed in synthetic materials make such shipping exempt from ISPM 15 regulations. If you ship goods stacked stored on plastic pallets, in plastic cases or crates, then you should not worry about ISPM 15 at all. Such pallets, cases, and crates of different sizes and forms designed for international cargo transportation from the U.S. overseas are widely available on the market.
                                                         Plastic pallet for international shipping of ocean freight   Plastic crates for international shipping from USA

Please keep in mind that the ISPM 15 regulations in international cargo transportation fall into two key areas:

  1. The shipping freight itself
  2. Providing proper documentation related to ISPM 15
That means that besides the proper packing of exporting goods to international transportation, you should pay attention to ISPM 15 related documentation. The documents have to be available before the initiation of cargo transportation from the USA. 

In reality, different countries in the world have different levels of restrictions related to ISPM 15. For example, if you are exporting goods from the U.S. to Australia or New Zealand, then be prepared that your cargo and ISPM 15 related documentation will be checked especially carefully. Cargo trans-shipped via Hong Kong or Singapore most likely will be subject to ISPM 15 documentation verification as well. Types and forms of such documents may vary from country to country.

  • If you are packing your goods for delivery from the U.S. abroad using wood packaging materials, look for ISPM 15 requirements in your destination country before packing. Contact related officials (customs or customs broker, for example) in advance. You may discuss it with your destination country consulate in the U.S. Most of the time, a fumigation certificate should be sufficient. You may download the form of the Australian wood packing declaration for shipping cargo from the USA to Australia at this link.

  • If you hire a professional packing company to prepare your goods for shipping from the USA abroad or use an international moving company, then do not hesitate to ask if they are aware of wood packing restrictions in shipping cargo from the USA. Mention ISPM 15 regulations. Ask them in advance.

  • Once again, if you deliver your loose shipping items to an ocean freight carrier's terminal (CFS), then let the CFS properly palletize your goods to the shipping from the USA overseas.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) regulations for Oceania

Since 2019, any ocean freight to Oceania, departing from the USA to the destinations in Oceania during the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) season from 1st of September until 30th of April of each year, cannot be loaded unless a completed Fumigation Declaration, provided to the shipper along with our shipping instructions, is submitted to the ocean freight carrier.

Ocean freight carriers are 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). 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 account of cargo and could be significant.
 
In short, the regulation requires that all shipments deemed as high risk by DAWR and MPI standards be treated before loading from high-risk origin countries of which the USA is named. With consolidated cargo, the rule states that if one shipment in the container is considered high risk, the entire container is considered 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 to that effect before considering any shipment 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 be typically 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.
Please do not ignore it! Below is just a sample of correspondence on cargo shipped to Australia. The shipper was unable to provide a valid fumigation certificate at the destination.
 
…the fumigation certificate is incorrectly declared … Fumigation was completed over the weekend, and Quarantine released the container today. Cargo should be unpacked and available for collection in the next day or two … Please note that the freight will not be released until these charges are paid…
 
Sea freight from U.S.
 
For FCL shipping from the U.S. to Australia and New Zealand, shippers must request in advance to obtain fumigation charges.
 
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