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Importing wood from Mexico.....Legally.....

wade

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I spent about a month in Veracruz Mexico last year. I visited a sawmill, and could not help myself, in purchasing some large pieces of Ziricote, and Chechen. They had a stack of Ziricote there, 20' long 8' wide and 5' tall. I called it "Mount Ziricote". Needless to say, I was under the "spell", and bought some very nice timbers of exotic wood, not really thinking how I was going to get it back into the states. It was so cheap, I couldn't help it. So I left the wood with a friend, and told him I would get in touch with him about how I was going to ship it to the states. It's probably 4 boards about 5' long and 2" thick, 5" wide. The owner of the mill said all I needed was a sheet of paper for import. If this is the case, I'd like to find more about getting this "paper", and possibly have my wood shipped to me. Does anyone know anything about importing wood from Mexico legally, and what do you think I should do. I understand, one of my options is probably to just forget it, and have my friend build a pallet out of it or something........ouch!!! Thank you for reading this. I want my wood.
 

txpaulie

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RE: Importing wood from Mexico.....Legally....

Have them wrap it in reefer, carried by a half-dozen or so locals...

Should come straight to yer house.:hi2:

You're welcome.:congratulate:

p

Yes, I appologize, that was inappropriate, and I'll now hang my head in shame. Thank you.:fool:
 

Kevin

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Don't be surprised if Ivan is not very forthcoming with helping any potential competition. He told me that himself when I told him I had been considering importing it myself and had the potential contacts to do it. Can't say I blame him.

I've never imported from Mexico but do not believe it's any more involved than any other country. Mexico is one of the very few countries that still allows Ziri to be exported, so it's not "illegal" - just expensive on a small scale like that.

Ivan drives down and waits for it to be harvested by his contacts and it is a long, difficult, arduous and potentially dangerous undertaking so he earns what he gets IMO.

From what little I know, if you're willing to pay the shipping, all you need to do is have your buddy be willing to find out what paperwork he needs, fill it out properly, pack and ship it to you. I manufacture a woodworking tool and make occasional sales into Mexico and have never had a problem with the items reaching my customers.

I don't think that small amount of wood will be a difficult thing to pull off, just not cheap probably. But hey, it's Ziricote, it's worth it.

:hookup:
 

BurlsorBust

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I typed up a really long response from my experience working with importing lumber/burls/logs with friends and all the steps we took and issues we had and then deleted it all because there is no amount of words that can tell you what you need to do accurately. You need to for starters, get in touch with USDA and understand unfinished wood/lumber importing procedures, permits, and processes. They are of no help if you contact them and ask what you need though.

To be frank, you are in over your head for just a few boards. You might get some leniency because of the quantity you are importing, but this is taken so seriously by both governments involved and international regulations that there is absolutely no cutting corners on anything. Before you even can start with papers, you need to have a way to get your wood sterilized; either fumigated or blasted with heat or else you will introduce pests or diseases potentially. This is why you can ship FINISHED wood products all over, but not unfinished wood products, like lumber.

Don't expect any help from anyone on this matter because the people who do import, work there butts off to do so and aren't going to get involved with someone who can be future competition. Wood workers are nice and friendly, legitimate lumber companies are not. I got absolutely no help at all and made way too many mistakes initially.

Plain and simply, good luck! :treehugger:
 

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Find an import agent in the nearest city to where you can ship international orders and pay him to take care of your paper work. Only you can determine if the costs of shipping a small quantity of wood is worth the cost of a shipping agent. On larger orders it is definitely worth importing your own wood.
 

BurlsorBust

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Joe Rebuild said:
Why not have your friend "finish" them , call it "art" and put it in the mail.

This idea is stupid enough to where it just might work! :yipee::sarcastic::yipee: Have him spray some lacquer on it and give it a run! On a package this small it could probably work... but you must delete this thread. It is evidence! :scare3:
 

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Several years ago I shipped a computer to N. Ireland and the VAT and import fees were going to make her free computer a very expensive machine. I unplugged the power supply, labeled the package recipient as "The Northern Ireland Computer Repair Center". And I included a nasty note telling them my computer still wasn't fixed and if they didn't fix it and return it to me I was going to sue them... They got it and without any problems, paperwork or taxes added. A phone call to tell them what to plug back in and they had a computer.

I like the idea of a bag of screws and brackets, surfacing the lumber and calling it a furniture kit... That should work.

Hal
 

BurlsorBust

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What you'll find with zircote, like when my cocobolo burls were brought in, is location, location, location. These species are under strict watch through CITES and the Lacey Act that make taking and transporting them a little different then other species throughout the world. The amount of poaching that takes place for both these and other high end, exotic species is insane and because of this poaching, they require additional steps outside of typical lumber. This is were the mill comes in to establish the location they come from was legal and taken responsibly, which is difficult for you to verify and them as well. Dig a little more into exotic lumber trade poaching and exportation of rare species and you'll see my points are valid concerns and issues for initial imports.
 

Kevin

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rbaccus said:
... Dress poorly, wear old flipflops, act dumb and bend all the rules and you can do anything. ...

I've been to Mexico many times and this is spot on, except don't bend the rules until you grease the right palms.
 

davidgiul

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BurlsorBust said:
What you'll find with zircote, like when my cocobolo burls were brought in, is location, location, location. These species are under strict watch through CITES and the Lacey Act that make taking and transporting them a little different then other species throughout the world. The amount of poaching that takes place for both these and other high end, exotic species is insane and because of this poaching, they require additional steps outside of typical lumber. This is were the mill comes in to establish the location they come from was legal and taken responsibly, which is difficult for you to verify and them as well. Dig a little more into exotic lumber trade poaching and exportation of rare species and you'll see my points are valid concerns and issues for initial imports.
I am curious about your source for the statement that the above mentioned woods are endangered?
Looking at the CITES web site, there are three appendices. The first one is outright ban on all commercial trade. Dalbergia nigra (Brazilian Rosewood) is on this list. The second appendix deals with species that are not yet threatened with extinction but need to be closely controlled. From CITES website, which interests us the most, "Appendix III is a list of species included at the request of a Party that already regulates trade in the species and that needs the cooperation of other countries to prevent unsustainable or illegal exploitation (see Article II, paragraph 3, of the Convention). International trade in specimens of species listed in this Appendix is allowed only on presentation of the appropriate permits or certificates. (See Article V of the Convention)". The last time I checked, Coridia dodecandra (Ziricote) and Dalbergia retusa (Cocobolo) did not appear in any of the appendices except Cocobolo from Guatemala and Panama are found in Appendix III.
 

BurlsorBust

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I never once mentioned "endangered," just that ziricote is a rarer exotic lumber and under high scrutiny when imported/exported and is poached often. Thanks for all the neat-o references, someone's done their reading! :good:
 

davidgiul

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BurlsorBust said:
I never once mentioned "endangered," just that ziricote is a rarer exotic lumber and under high scrutiny when imported/exported and is poached often. Thanks for all the neat-o references, someone's done their reading! :good:
Cool
 

Spa City Woodworks

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You'll need to apply for an import permit with the USDA - form # PPQ585. If Customs scrutinizes the shipment, you'll need the botanical name, proof of fumigation prior to shipping, and bill of origin to comply with the Lacey act. If you have a significant inventment already, spend a couple hundred bucks and hire a Customs Broker to help navigate the process.
 

Bluestingray

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Its a poor country. If anyone sees anything of potential value, going to U.S., they want there breakfast paid for. Anyone means anyone with a ak -47 and nowadays thats everyone. My friends can no longer get mesquite lumber or furniture from prison in Victoria, Mex. (Warden was kidnapped and shot.....).

There may be a costly way but you said it, ask questions first and then shoot.

Buy TX Ebony :good: Delivered to your door.
 

bad dogs burl source

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Hello Wade, Rob here with Bad Dogs Burl source, I have read all the proposed answers to your importation question, best bet is to not pay attention to most of them as they have obviously never had to import wood from another country before...a lot of suggestions and no real answers. There are a couple that are spot on...I have imported wood/burl from overseas for years, its not an easy process. For small quantities it can be fairly painless, like I get boxes shipped UPS express 25 kgs quite often, they are typically not stopped by U.S. Customs. If I ship 2 of those they are almost ALWAYS stopped. Not a big deal, but it will cost you about 75.00 dollars. Those do not need to be fumigated. Now when you start shipping larger quantities, you will need a USDA Import permit. And every shipment will require a Lacey Act Declaration, this was just started about 2 years ago, I do not know the weight cutoff weight for having to do the Lacey Act declaration, but for me when I do several tons at a time, I have to do it. As well, there is fumigation certificate and a 10-2 filing that must be done within 24 hours of the freight leaving the port .So its not as easy as just saying..."oh..I want to ship some wood to the U.S."...just does not work like that. At least in large quantities. You can do smaller shipments that way, but you do run the risk of U.S. Customs seizing your wood and you will never see it. They will not give it back. If wanting to import wood into the U.S. do your homework, get an import permit, hire a shipping agent and a Customs broker..its worth the time and $$$$
 

wade

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Rob, Thank you so much for writing and giving me your input on this. When I bought the wood, of course it was an impulse buy, and Ziricote has always been my favorite (well, besides Madagascar Rosewood, but you don't see that on every streetcorner anymore.....) and I really wanted to find a way to get it back. It's not dirt cheap wood, but it was a really good price. I had a 20' Sealand container down there, but couldn't get the guts to throw it (the wood) in there. Then I could just see my whole shipment seized. But it wasn't on the original documents so I couldn't do it. But I really do want this wood in my possession. Maybe a broker is the way to go, and hopefully he will take it easy on me on $$. I appreciate your comments. They are very helpful.


bad dogs burl source said:
Hello Wade, Rob here with Bad Dogs Burl source, I have read all the proposed answers to your importation question, best bet is to not pay attention to most of them as they have obviously never had to import wood from another country before...a lot of suggestions and no real answers. There are a couple that are spot on...I have imported wood/burl from overseas for years, its not an easy process. For small quantities it can be fairly painless, like I get boxes shipped UPS express 25 kgs quite often, they are typically not stopped by U.S. Customs. If I ship 2 of those they are almost ALWAYS stopped. Not a big deal, but it will cost you about 75.00 dollars. Those do not need to be fumigated. Now when you start shipping larger quantities, you will need a USDA Import permit. And every shipment will require a Lacey Act Declaration, this was just started about 2 years ago, I do not know the weight cutoff weight for having to do the Lacey Act declaration, but for me when I do several tons at a time, I have to do it. As well, there is fumigation certificate and a 10-2 filing that must be done within 24 hours of the freight leaving the port .So its not as easy as just saying..."oh..I want to ship some wood to the U.S."...just does not work like that. At least in large quantities. You can do smaller shipments that way, but you do run the risk of U.S. Customs seizing your wood and you will never see it. They will not give it back. If wanting to import wood into the U.S. do your homework, get an import permit, hire a shipping agent and a Customs broker..its worth the time and $$$$
 
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