International Export Q & A
- 1. What countries are open to export?
The U.S. has trade agreements established with several overseas markets. The Potatoes USA and National Potato Board are working tirelessly to negotiate the export of U.S. potatoes to new markets and to establish fair certification regulations and tariffs. Not all potato products are allowed in all markets. For a list of markets and products that can be exported to those markets see the product/market table.
- 2. What do I need to be aware of before I export?
Plant health, food safety and labelling requirements differ widely from market to market. In order for smooth export transactions, you will need to comply with the requirements of your destination market.
Fresh potatoes may have extra requirements from either the USDA or the destination country that must be met.
- Confirm that market destination allows import of fresh potatoes (seed, chipping and table-stock)
- Be aware of destination markets’ Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) and make sure your export crop is within the requirements. https://www.globalmrl.com/
- Be aware of any special regulations, testing, etc. for that particular market. (Testing could mean pre-planting, field inspections, post-harvest inspections, etc. )
- USDA - 3rd party inspections. Browse a list of state inspection contacts:
USDA Export Program Manual:
- Phytosanitary Certificates (PC) are almost always required. Import Permits (IP) can be required by the destination market. If both PC and IP are required and differ from their requirements, it is the IP that must be adhered to. Link to the Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT): https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/pcit/
Helpful reference guides to establish access to PCIT and for first-time users:
- 3. Why work with freight-forwarder?
Freight forwarders are companies who can help you coordinate your exports. They act as an intermediary between shippers and carriers, taking care of all of the administrative aspects of the logistics These firms offer various options for your export needs - logistics, document preparation, cargo tracking, or filing insurance claims, as an example.
Because freight forwarders have strong relationships and large networks with carriers, they are better suited to trace any issues quickly, manage unforeseen diversions and negotiate lower shipping terms on their high container volumes.
- 4. What are the port options? Benefits?
There are several ports that line the western coastal region. The largest and busiest ports on the West Coast are in California. The majority of Idaho® potatoes are shipped out of either Long Beach or Seattle, Washington.
California puts weight limitations on long-haul trucks. (GVW: 80,000lbs) In order to ship a full container of fresh potatoes, the shipper would need to send 2 trucks to Californian.
Washington’s weight limitations equal those of Idaho (GVW 105,000lbs) - allowing a full container load of potatoes to be transported over road to their ports.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance delivers less congestion, closer proximity to Asia and deep ties to Alaska, as well as award-winning ease of doing business. Our naturally deep-water harbors and ability to handle a wide range of cargo make us ideally suited to meet the growing needs of Pacific Rim trade. We pride ourselves on being proactive and performance-driven. We put unrelenting focus on anticipating challenges, and providing operational excellence and the best complete value to our customers worldwide. We know that our customers' success is also ours.
Port of Long Beach:
The Port of Long Beach is one of the world's busiest seaports, a leading gateway for trade between the United States and Asia. It supports over a million jobs nationally and generates billions of dollars in economic activity each year. Long Beach is the second busiest port in the United States and is the 18th busiest container cargo port in the world