The Fumigation Certificate, in respect of international shipping of sea freight, also referred to as a '
pest control certificate' is the proof that wooden packing
materials used in international sea freight shipping e.g. wooden pallets and crates, wood, wool etc have been fumigated or sterilized prior the international
shipment. Fumigation certificates in international shipping usually contain details such as purpose of treatment, the articles in question, temperature range
used, chemicals and concentration used, etc.

The fumigation certificate as an international sea freight shipping document is NOT a mandatory international shipping export document. However, it assists
in quarantine clearance of an international sea-freight shipment upon the arrival to the destination.

The fumigation for international shipping using a sea-freight services should be completed by a certified vendor(s) prior the international shipment will be
submitted to an international sea freight carriers shipping facility in the country of origin of the international shipment. If not completed and fully documented at
origin, then the fumigation may be done at the destination upon arrival of international sea freight shipment to the country of destination; OR for international
shipments with transshipments at a time of transshipment, i.e. at a time when cargo will be reloaded form one container/vessel to another in order to be
shipped to the final destination.

If a fumigation certificate in international sea freight shipping is required but not presented or incomplete, then additional costs related to fumigation of the
international sea freight shipment may occur upon arrival of the international shipment to the destination. Noncompliance WILL RESULT in wooden packing
materials and wooden pallets being destroyed by the destination country port authorities at consignee's cost and may result in delayed customs clearance.  
Consignees will bear the cost of the fumigation and/or delayed customs clearance due to this noncompliance on the international shipping procedures
related to international shipping of sea freight containing wooden packing materials.

Note: Obtaining of fumigation certificate for international cargo shipping is Consignee responsibility.  A Fumigation Certificate, in respect of international
shipping of sea freight (if required), can be obtained by international shipper from a local fumigation company. If you consider that a fumigation certificate is
required for your international sea freight shipment, then search the internet or refer to your local Yellow Pages in order to find a nearest fumigation company
in your area that specialized in fumigation of cargo for the international shipping.

At a glance the ISPM15 international shipping rules may appear quite complicated. I order to make it simpler we would suggest to international shippers using
common sense to understand these rules:

Usually, in international shipping of sea freight, importing countries make fumigation compulsory for wood-packing materials that contain solid wood / timber
and logs. But importing countries do not require fumigation for cardboard boxes, plywood, blockboard, MDF/HDF (wood-based products obtained by pressing
wood fibres), OSB (a competitor for plywood), hardboard, particle board and some other man-made boards. Why? Because solid timber and logs that are
shipping internationally, probably have harmful living insects. It is necessary to fumigate solid timer and logs before international shipping overseas.
Otherwise, those harmful insects probably will cause great damage to the forests in importing countries.

The goal of fumigation is to protect forests of destination countries from insects that may reside inside of internationally shipping timber. The fumigation is a
pesticide treatment using poisonous gases to kill pests inside of international shipping wood.

But there will NOT be living insects in some internationally shipping "man-made" wood-packing materials SUCH AS: cardboard boxes, plywood, blockboard
(wood-based products obtained by gluing blocks of wood together and sandwiching them between 2 veneers), MDF/HDF (wood-based products obtained by
pressing wood fibres), OSB (a competitor for plywood), hardboard (high-density fiberboard), particle board and so on. These "man-made" wood-packing
materials are produced under high temperature and high pressure. During production, all the insects in these "man-made" wood-packing materials will be
killed because of high temperature and high pressure.

Because of no insects, then these "man-made" wood-packing materials MAY NOT require to be fumigated during the international shipping. I.e. NO fumigation
certificate is required for your sea freight international shipment that contain these "man-made" wood-packing materials listed above.

Currently, in the international shipping industry, using alternative packing materials such plastic packing materials (plastic pallets, crates etc) has become
more and more popular due to its full compliance with the ISM 15 rules.

Timber bearing insects pose a significant quarantine risk on internationals shipping to USA and therefore all timber used in FCL containers MUST be treated
before the container can be considered for immediate release. This relates also to the exposed timber components of the container itself.

Quarantine's concern does not only relate to timber pests but also to the cleanliness of internationally shipping sea freight containers.

All conditions prescribed for international shipping by the Quarantine and Customs Authorities must be met before any internationally shipping cargo CAN be
removed from a terminal or break bulk depot.

All international shipping ocean freight bills have a code which indicates if wood is used in packing or securing of internationally shipping cargo in a container.
If wood is used in international shipping containers to USA, then all documentation must have a packing declaration with a fumigation certificate of the
internationally shipping container or a treatment certificate of the wood used.

For FCL containers if the internationally shipping goods themselves are not subject to quarantine inspection and the timber components, such as the floor
and linings have been treated by an acceptable method, then the internationally shipping container is free to move anywhere provided packaging meets
quarantine requirements and the internationally shipping container is clean.

As far as practical, timber should be avoided in international shipping to USA and other Countries and alternative material such as cardboard, plastic, new jute
or metals used. If timber crates, cases, pallets or dunnage are used in an international shipment, then the timber should have been treated by one of the
methods approved by FDA / USDA / US Customs.  

It is essential that the internationally shipping container is clean and free from soil or plant and animal contaminants such as grains, flour, meat, bones, hides
and skin.

Straw packing, rice hulls and similar plant materials are prohibited for international shipping and therefore should not be used as packing for any international
shipments. Alternative material such as shredded paper, wood-wool or synthetic materials are acceptable for international shipping provided they are not
contaminated with material which could be a quarantine risk.

Whenever possible in international shipping of FCL containers to USA are cleared through quarantine on documentation but a number of them are inspected
at importer's premises to verify this international shipping documentation. Where infringements of quarantine requirements are found all subsequent
consignments from that exporter may be directed to a depot for clearance. Apart from the delay all the possible prejudice to subsequent international
shipments all cost for remedial action will be charged to the consignee.

LCL containers shipping internationally and carrying goods for delivery to approved break-bulk depots, where normal quarantine inspections of internationally
shipping cargo can be undertaken, do not necessarily have to beat any special requirements. However, should evidence of infestation be found in any
international shipping wooden crates or cases then fumigation will be undertaken. The cost to the exporter in the shape of treatment charges, delay and
inconvenience in such international shipping may well out weigh the small additional costs of using treated timber when making up the internationally
shipping crates and cases.For your guidance we would also draw your attention to the additional following restrictions on international shipping of LCL sea
freight to:

(a) Fumigation of internationally shipping household furniture and personal affects will not permit immediate release of containers. Containers carrying these
goods must PASS through an approved depot for unpacking and treatment of internationally shipping goods subject to quarantine.
(b) Internationally shipping containers must be FREE from soil, plant material and contamination from animal products. Thorough cleaning of the inside and
outside of internationally shipping containers prior to the international shipment will assist in removing contamination and could alleviate the need for
expensive and time consuming quarantine treatment of international shipments in USA. A

(c) Any international shipping material of a plant origin or likely to carry any disease or pests of plants is subject to quarantine. Some internationally shipping
items are prohibited except by special permit.

(d) Items such as internationally shipping motor vehicles or internationally shipping agricultural machinery contaminated with soil must be cleaned before they
are released. Steam-cleaning prior to international shipment will obviously go a long way to ensuring the internationally shipping cargo will be in an
acceptable condition on arrival but this can never be guaranteed.

(e) Phostoxin is the proprietary name for aluminium phosphide. It is applied in solid form, usually as tablets and relies on a reaction with moisture in the air to
release phosphine gas. Use is on a limited basis and normally where an internationally shipping commodity is known to have an adverse reaction with methyl

To ensure that no expensive delays happen to your international shipping cargo on arrival and to ensure that it is immediately released for onward movement
into the country, we recommend that you take the following precautions during the international shipping to US

(1) If using your own or leased internationally shipping container ensure that its exposed timber components have been permanently treated to the
international shipping requirements of the Quarantine Authorities and the container is registered with them.

(2) Where possible do not use in your international shipment wood for pallets, packaging, dunnaging or securing materials if you can find suitable alternative
arrangements not subject to quarantine regulations, for example: Internationally shipping paper products, hardboard, plastic products, fibreboard, cardboards,
metal, clean dry used motor tyres, inflatable dunnage, wood-wool, and metal or plastic strapping.  Limited internationally shipping timber products are not
acceptable, neither are internationally shipping material such as straw, rice hulls, or similar plant materials.

(3) Where wood is used for internationally shipping pallets, packaging, dunnaging or securing material then it must meet quarantine requirements:
(i) Be permanently treated by an approved for international shipping preservative such as copper-chromium-arsenic salts or copper-chromium-boron salts.
(ii) Be temporarily disinfected by one of the approved for international shipping methods below. Timber treated by one of these methods must be packed in a
container used in international shipping or shipped within 21 days of treatment.
(a) Methyl Bromide fumigation
(b) Sulphuryl Fluoride (Vikane)
(c) Heat or kiln sterilisation
(d) Steaming
(e) Immersion in a hot liquid

Methyl bromide fumigation is the most practical and economical method of timber treatment in international shipping. Loaded international shipping
containers may be fumigated to treat the exposed timber components of the internationally shipping containers, timber packaging or the cargo. ACA
International can arrange for your internationally shipping container to be fumigated prior to international shipping if you require this service or on arrival of your
internationally shipping cargo if your quarantine documents are not in order.

A fumigation certificate for international shipping to USA must be completed and signed by the fumigation contractor, who must be able to comply with ACOP
(Approved Code of Practice) for the control of substances hazardous to health.

The quarantine declaration section of the Export Cargo International Shipping Instructions must be completed by the international shipper for coding on the
manifest (IEF).

The Fumigation Certificate, in respect of international shipping of sea freight, also referred to as a 'pest control certificate' is the proof that wooden packing
materials used in international sea freight shipping e.g. wooden pallets and crates, wood, wool etc have been fumigated or sterilized prior the international
shipment. Fumigation certificates in international shipping usually contain details such as purpose of treatment, the articles in question, temperature range
used, chemicals and concentration used, etc.


Wooding packing restrictions in international shipping, also known as ISPM 15 rules, apply to shipping of international ocean freight. ISPM 15 rules relate to
prevent the spread of plant pests and diseases throughout the world, when shipping international ocean freight using packing materials and supply
containing wood. These international shipping regulations have been originated by the International Plant Protection Convention. ISPM 15 rules apply to
international shipping of ocean freight that contains wood-packaging material: wooden pallets, wooden crates, dunnages, drums, wood cases etc.

ISPM 15 requires that all international ocean freight shipments using any species of raw wood packaging must be fumigated or heat treated, prior the
international shipping, to kill insects or fungus. All wood-packing materials used in international shipping must be stamped with the approved USDA, prior the
international shipping. International ocean freight shipments that contain wood-packing materials will be checked in respect of compliance with the ISPM 15
regulations before to be allowed to enter to or crossing through a participating to IPPC country.

Below are samples of stamps on wooden pallets used used in international shipping that indicate the ISPM 15 rules compliance.

ISPM 15 stamps show to international shipping companies and origin and destination countries authorities that solid wood packaging material using in
international shipping of ocean freight have been treated to comply with ISPM 15 regulations. Non-compliance with the ISPM 15 rules may result serious
problems in your international shipping. If your ocean freight shipment does not meet the ISPM 15 regulations, then it may be refused to the international
shipping or turned back or destroyed at the destination unless re-packed and/or fumigated.

United States of America participates to IPPC. ISPM 15 rules apply to all export and import from and to the USA supported either by international shipping
companies (International Freight Forwarders, NVOCCs, VOCCs) or international moving companies. U.S. international shipping regulations require
immediate re-export of non-compliant to ISPM 15 rule cargo with no exceptions. Professional international moving companies, when pack goods to the
international shipping, must be aware of and comply with ISPM 15 rules. If an international moving company takes care of packing of your goods for your
international ocean freight shipment from or to the USA, then always insure that your goods are properly in respect of compliance with ISPM 15 rules. Any
problems, delays or/and increasing of international shipping cost will be the responsibility of shipper/consignee.

Avoid problems related to ISPM 15 rules in your international shipping. Think ahead. It is important to understand that basically the ISPM 15 rules regulate
ONLY international shipping of freight that contains NON-MANUFACTURED WOOD PACKING MATERIALS (also called solid wood packing material or SWPM).

Non-manufactured wood packing materials in respect of international shipping using ocean freight services are defined as "wood packing other than that
comprised wholly of wood-based products such as plywood, particle board, 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 ISPM 15 rules is just DO NOT USE NON-MANUFACTURED WOOD PACKING MATERIALS in your

When you pack your goods for the international shipping by sea, keep in mind the following:
International shipping of goods packed in cardboard shipping boxes complies with ISPM 15 regulations. You may order cardboards shipping boxes for your
international ocean freight shipment via our website in this link. Free delivery.

If you palletized your ocean freight, use ONLY ISPM 15 certified and stamped wooden pallets and crates. Do not use any not-certified raw wood packing
materials in your international shipping.

Wood packaging supply, even wholly made of wood-based products, such as plywood, particle board, 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 during its international shipping. Therefore should not be regulated and restricted by the ISPM 15 rules in your
international shipping.   

Using plastic etc packing materials in your international shipping that do not contain wood, makes your international ocean freight shipment an exemption
from ISPM 15 rules. Plastic pallets cases and crates of different sizes and forms for the international ocean freight shipping are widely available on the market.

NOTE: the ISPM 15 regulations in international shipping using ocean freight services fall down into two key areas: the international shipping itself and
international shipping documents that must be submitted to the ocean freight. What types and forms and how many documents are required exactly for your
international ocean freight shipment varies from country to country.

If you self-pack an international ocean freight shipment using wood packing materials (i.e. use a service from an international ocean freight shipping
company) then you should find out the precise ISPM 15 requirements by contacting a related officials (customs for example) at your destination or the
destination country local consulate. Most of the time a fumigation certificate should be sufficient.

If you hire a professional packing company, an international moving company or an international ocean freight carrier's shipping terminal palletizes your
boxes, then parties that take care of your cargo should be aware of and comply with the ISPM 15 regulations on your international ocean freight shipment.
Entry@ISFCustomsBroker.com / 800-710-1559.
Disclaimer, Terms, Conditions & Etc (
click here)
Dale Dong Young Park dba A Plus Customs Broker
(Filer Code AEF)
Coast Logistic Groups llc / ISF Customs Broker .com (Filer Code E2B)
All rights reserved.
800-710-1559 (US) /  310-933-5444 (intl) /  Our SPECIALTY is ISF & Entry filing for all US Port
We are NOT affiliated
with any US Agencies
Logo's are view as
image reference only