PRODUCTS CONTAINING NATURAL WOOD SUBJECT TO ADDITIONAL INSPECTION, SOME PROHIBITED

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has tightened restrictions on “handicraft” items containing natural wood materials imported from China. The term “handicraft” is described as a work, device, or decorative article made using natural wood. Examples include (but are not limited to) artificial Christmas trees with wooden trunks, and garden trellises. The new regulation prohibits entry of handicraft items from China that:

  • contain natural wood with bark intact regardless of diameter 
  • contain natural wood without intact bark greater then one centimeter in diameter

For all other countries, importers can expect increased inspections and clearance delays to determine admissibility for any wood product potentially categorized as handicraft. Products that have been finished, manufactured or weathered to the extent that pests would be excluded, will receive less scrutiny. Such examples are chopping blocks, driftwood, finished wood carvings, flooring, furniture, kitchen accessories including chopsticks, marquetry and picture frames.

The new regulations will be enforced to safeguard the U.S. environment from the risks of harmful plant pests commonly associated with wood items.

Information on this and other recent developments can be obtained from our technical consulting group.