Revealing the Whole Process of Fumigation for Cross-border Freight

Jun 19,2024
Industry News
What is a fumigation certificate? Which countries require a fumigation certificate when exporting goods across borders? What are the process steps

When exporting goods across borders, whether by sea, air or land, ensuring that the goods are not infested with pests and diseases during transportation is an issue that every seller and business must face. Fumigation is an important process to protect goods and ensure compliance with international regulations. So, what exactly is a fumigation certificate? How to obtain it? Which countries require it?

fumigation services

What is fumigation?

Fumigation refers to the treatment of goods with chemical fumes to eliminate pests, insects and other harmful organisms. Fumigation is to protect the forests of the destination country from foreign insects that may inhabit the transported wood or wood.

What is a fumigation certificate?

A fumigation certificate is a common certification document in international trade, also known as a pest control certificate. It is used to prove that the goods have been fumigated and meet the import requirements of the relevant countries, which can effectively prevent the spread of pests and diseases. Contains detailed information such as the fumigant used, the reason for the treatment, the temperature range, etc.

What is a heat treatment certification?

A heat treatment certification refers to a certification obtained after the wood has undergone a specific high-temperature treatment process. This treatment process involves placing the wood in a closed kiln or chamber and heating it to a core temperature of 56°C (133°F) for at least 30 minutes. It is designed to effectively kill pathogens such as insects, fungi and other microorganisms that may be present in the wood, ensuring that the wood is clean and safe.

Heat treatment is an alternative to fumigation, especially in some international trade, where heat treatment certification has become an important compliance requirement. For example, in order to meet the import standards of the European Union (EU), some countries require heat treatment certification. At the same time, heat treatment is also a key step in obtaining phytosanitary certificates from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to export wood to other countries.

It is worth noting that all wooden pallets must be heat-treated or fumigated during the manufacturing process. Regardless of the method used, the treated pallets will be marked with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and accompanied by the corresponding treatment certificate. In the United States, this certification and marking process is mainly handled by the American Wood Association.

Why is fumigation needed?

Fumigation is an important sanitary and epidemic prevention measure in international trade. It uses chemical agents or high temperatures to kill pests, bacteria and other harmful organisms that may be carried in the cargo, ensuring that the cargo will not be infested by pests and diseases during transportation and storage. Many countries have strict regulations to mitigate the risk of introducing invasive species or plant diseases through imported goods.

Fumigation can prevent the spread of pests and diseases across borders, ensure the safety and integrity of the cargo, and avoid customs fines, delays or rejections of the cargo. To avoid fumigation, some shippers choose to use plastic packaging materials instead of wood.

When raw wood materials (such as wooden pallets or wooden packaging boxes) are used to protect your goods during transportation, a fumigation certificate is required. All wooden products must be fumigated when transported internationally. This includes wooden pallets, furniture and other wooden goods. However, wooden products such as cardboard, particleboard and other artificial wood derivatives do not need to be fumigated. The fumigation certificate must contain details such as the purpose of the treatment, the fumigant used, the application time, and the temperature range during the fumigation process.

Which countries require a fumigation certificate?

Different countries and regions have different fumigation requirements for imported goods. Generally speaking, countries with strict requirements for pest control, such as Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, require fumigation certificates for imported goods. Therefore, before exporting goods, be sure to understand the relevant requirements of the target country to avoid unnecessary trouble.

What are the steps in the fumigation process?

Fumigation is usually carried out by licensed and certified companies specializing in this service. The process involves exposing the goods to fumigation gas (such as methyl bromide or phosphine) for a specific period of time in a closed space. This duration depends on the type of goods, the fumigant used, and the temperature and humidity conditions.

Cargo preparation

Before fumigation, the goods need to be thoroughly inspected and cleaned to ensure that there are no impurities such as soil and weeds on the surface of the goods. At the same time, the goods need to be placed in a well-ventilated place so that the fumigant can fully penetrate.

Fumigation treatment

The goods are sealed in a closed environment. Fumigation treatment usually uses methods such as chemical agents or high temperatures. During the operation, parameters such as agent concentration, temperature and time need to be strictly controlled to ensure the fumigation effect.


The fumigant is applied to the sealed goods.


Leave the goods for a period of time to allow the fumigant to work. After fumigation, the goods need to be fully ventilated and dried to remove any residual odor of the agent. At the same time, the fumigation effect needs to be tested to ensure that the goods meet the relevant requirements.


Ventilate the goods to remove any residual fumigant.

How to obtain a fumigation certificate?

After the fumigation treatment is completed, it is necessary to submit a fumigation report and relevant supporting documents to the relevant department to apply for a fumigation certificate. The time to obtain a certificate varies from region to region, but it is generally quick.

How long does fumigation take?

The length of fumigation time depends on the type and quantity of the goods, the fumigation method used, the degree of infection and the fumigant used. Generally speaking, the fumigation time for ordinary goods ranges from a few hours to a few days. But please rest assured that we will develop the most suitable fumigation plan for you according to your specific situation.

Does air transportation require fumigation?

For air cargo, fumigation treatment is also required. Because air cargo has a short transportation time, it also needs to go through multiple links such as loading and unloading, transshipment, etc., all of which may increase the risk of cargo being infected by pests and diseases. Therefore, in order to ensure the safety of goods, air cargo also needs to be fumigated.

By understanding the relevant knowledge of fumigation, I believe you have a clear understanding of how to obtain a fumigation certificate, how to prepare for fumigation, etc. If you have any questions or need further help, please feel free to contact chinadivision. We will serve you wholeheartedly to ensure that your goods arrive at their destination safely and smoothly.

About the Author: Limi

About the Author: Limi

Limi is a content marketing expert at ChinaDivision, helping businesses and e-commerce sellers navigate the complexities of international shipping by providing actionable tips and comprehensive guides on logistics, shipping, and cargo transportation.