Exporting wooden oak signs and clocks worldwide


I carve wooden oak items from oak flooring and am considering expanding world wide.

I sent to my nephew in Australia recently a wooden domino game that was held on arrival and would only be released on payment of an amount 10 times the value of the item!!

I am therefore keen to learn of any limitations to my business expansion before I consider it seriously.


Good morning
The use of hay and straw as packing material is prohibited. Australia has strict controls on the use of wood, plywood and reconstituted wood as packing or dunnage — detailed information can be found on www.daff.gov.au/aqis or www.fumigation.co.uk. Phytosanitary Certificates are not required but Australia implemented the “wood packing regulations” under ISPM15 in September 2004 and from 1 January 2006 Australia required all wood packing material and dunnage to be ISPM15 marked and compliant — this includes WPM used in air cargo. All WPM and dunnage must be bark-free and fumigated, the exposure time must be at least 24 hours not 16 hours as in ISPM15. The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service implement ISPM15 alongside other regulations. Hay, straw or chaff are prohibited unless permission has been obtained from the Director of Quarantine. Plywood is acceptable without inspection if it has been newly manufactured (ie not pre-used) and is manufactured in Australia, Canada, EU, Israel, Japan or New Zealand within three months of shipment or from other countries within 21 days of shipment. Plywood must be accompanied by an acceptable certificate that includes country of manufacture, the date and statement that plywood has not been pre-used. Exporters are strongly advised to clarify the rules relating to their own particular shipments prior to exporting. This can be done in two ways: ask the consignee to clarify requirements for particular products and methods of transport, or, access the full AQIS procedures on: www.daff.gov.au/aqis/import/cargo/aspects-procedures.

If you need rates or any further help or advice shipping to Austarlia please let me know

Kind regards
Dave Eales e mail davide@excelshipping.com
Excel Shipping Limited
Tel 01708 515151


Dear Gary,
There are a number of things to consider when you begin exporting products and as you have found out from your earlier export to Australia that certain countries have strict quarantine regualtions for wooden items, however this shouldn’t disuade you from expanding your business. I have listed below a few things that come to my mind straight away.

1) Your selling terms would need to be established with the purchaser as there are various inco terms used in exporting. ex Works, CPT, C and F, DDU, CIF to name but a few. The terms of sale would establilsh if you were to prepay the freight etc to arrival or to delivered customers door. You can google Incoterms for more detailed information. The terms of sale also establish who pays the import duties and taxes applicable at Country of destination, which 9 times out 10 is the importer.

2) Freight Costs – once you have established your terms of sale, you would need to decide the method of shipping adn the costs invloved. Aifreight, seafreight, or courier.

3) Cost for export packing. As you mention clocks, goods would need to be suitably packed for export to avoid damage in transit.

4) insurance – if you want to cover goods against damage.

The above would all add to the costs of your items and would need to be factored in to your costings and sale prices. Please feel free to contact me directly should you have any questions as I am sure we can be of benefit to you as a freight forwarder who can assist you with documentation requirements, Country requirements, quotes and export packing.

I hope the above is of some assistance

Best regards


As you seem to have discovered already, the Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service (AQIS) doesn’t just have strict regulations on the importation of wooden shipping packing materials, but also on the importation of the actual wooden manufactured articles (hence your past experience!).

The rules for importation of wooden products can be found on their website at:

http://www.aqis.gov.au/icon32/asp/ex_QueryResults.asp?Commodity=wooden+articles+&Area=All+Countries&EndUse=All+End+Uses&All=on also:


From my brief reading, I believe that your products would be classified as manufactured wooden articles, and for commercial importation into Australia, the products may need to be treated with a suitable wood treatment, and be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate to confirm this fact, and to confirm that they are free from bark or insects.

This treatment may make the product unattractive to the consumer – I’m sure you will have a view on this.

If you have a relative in Australia, I suggest that you ask him to contact a branch of AQIS, in order to get confirmation of the rules, and in order to prevent any further mishaps.

I hope that this helps

Export Action Plan