How to Import and Export Spices Internationally

When shipping spices and other food products internationally, there are many different factors worth considering. Whether you’re an importer or exporter, the overall goal is to facilitate seamless shipments and generate a significant profit. However, there are a number of obstacles that come into play on the international shipping scale, from shipping methods to customs procedures. In this article, we’ll go over some of the most important steps when it comes to shipping spices internationally.

Make a Plan 

Upon embarking on any business venture, it’s important to have a plan in place so that you can stay organized, manage your expectations, and be successful. When shipping spices internationally, regardless of whether you’re on the import or export side of the transaction, a plan can help your business run smoothly and maintain profitability.

So how do you go about creating a plan for importing and exporting spices internationally? Below, we’ve included some essential elements for you to consider. Take all of these factors into account as you create a plan.


Designing a budget is extremely important when shipping spices internationally. As an importer, you’ll need to negotiate a fair price for the spices you’re importing, consider shipping costs, and predict how much you’ll be able to sell the spices for in your own country. Once you’ve done these calculations, you’ll be able to create a detailed budget and set a profit goal that may help guide your decisions throughout the shipping process.

On the other hand, as an exporter, you’ll need to do some research into the current demand and pricing for spices in the country you’re exporting to. This will help you determine a fair price and set your expectations as far as how much profit you’ll be able to make. When shipping spices internationally, it may also be a good idea to calculate your budget in your local currency, and then convert your prices to a variety of foreign currencies so you can provide buyers with quick and convenient quotes.

Packaging and Transport

One of the most crucial things to consider when shipping spices internationally is the type of shipping method you will use. Do you intend to import and export spices via land, sea, air, or through a combination of these methods? In many cases, the most common way to transport spices on an international scale is by cargo ship—in fact, upwards of 90% of the herbs and spices exported to the European Union from developing countries are shipped using marine transport.

However, marine transport is merely one method for getting your spices from one place to another. In some cases, it may make more sense to ship spices via cargo plane or freight truck. Do some research to determine which shipping method is the most reliable and cost effective for your particular business. 


Communication is key if you want to minimize confusion and quickly resolve any problems that arise during the shipping process. Whether you’re importing or exporting, make sure that you have a main point of contact with the party on the other end of the transaction. Check in with them as needed for updates in the shipping process. Additionally, make sure you employ a mode of communication that works for both of you, whether it’s phone, email, instant messaging, or something else.

Set Expectations with a Contract 

Before you start shipping spices internationally, draft a detailed contract that lays out what’s expected of both parties and have each side sign it. A good contract will lay out in clear terms your responsibilities as an importer or exporter, payment details, deliverables, and other essential conditions. 

In addition to making any transaction more transparent, a contract can also protect you in case of a conflict or disagreement. In case the other party doesn’t hold up their end of the contract, you can hold them accountable and potentially take them to court. 

Research and Account for Customs Requirements

Whether the importer or exporter is responsible for customs costs and clearance depends on the particular agreement you have entered into. In any case, it’s always best to do some research into the customs procedures of different countries, as this will help you with logistics and planning. Factor the time and cost of customs procedures into your overall budget. 

Also, make sure your international shipment of herbs and spices is compliant with the appropriate regulatory agencies. For instance, if you’re importing herbs and spices into the U.S., they’ll be subject to review and inspection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the shipment could be rejected if it doesn’t meet necessary standards. 

Take Steps to Protect Your Shipment

As you prepare to ship spices internationally, the last thing you want is an unnecessary loss of product. To help mitigate the risk of loss, you might consider purchasing insurance on your shipment that will compensate you in case of theft, damage, and other unexpected mishaps.

You should also ensure that your herbs and spices are effectively packaged and protected to prevent them from spoiling due to changes in temperature, moisture levels, excessive sunlight, water damage, and so on. At Eurolog Packing Group, we design revolutionary packaging solutions that can keep your international shipment of herbs and spices safe. From desiccant bags and absorbent Hyblankets to custom solutions, we can help protect your shipments and prevent unnecessary losses.

Shipping spices internationally can be a worthwhile and profitable venture. However, it’s always important to do your research, plan ahead, and protect your product. Let Eurolog Packing Group keep your spices safe throughout the shipping process. Contact us today to see how we can make your job easier.


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