After the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, cannabis was removed from Schedule I of Controlled Substances, making it an ordinary agricultural commodity in all 50 states in the United States. This has caused a tremendous growth in the cannabis industry, making the CBD market one of the fastest-growing.
Below, you will find the answers to some common questions about the importation and trade of CBD products.
Can I send CBD oil in the mail?
Yes. You can ship CBD oil in the mail throughout the United States. However, there are certain guidelines that must be followed. In order to do so, you must make sure that:
- It contains less than 0.3% THC.
- It has been extracted from hemp, not cannabis.
- Your farm and growing facilities comply with federal guidelines.
Can I send CBD oil with USPS?
Yes. In March of 2019, United States Postal Service published an advisory on mailing hemp-derived CBD products. In addition to these guidelines, USPS requires a series of documentation to be filled out, to process the shipping order. These are some of the documents:
- Proof that the industrial hemp producer holds a government-issued license from the Department of Agriculture for the state where the destination post office is located. This must include documentation that identifies the producer by name and proves that the mailer is authorized by the registered producer to market these products.
- A laboratory report proof that the industrial hemp or the hemp products contain no more than 0.3% of a delta-9 THC concentration.
- A signed self-certification statement: printed on the mailer’s own letterhead, signed by the mailer and must include the following text:
“I certify that all information furnished in this letter supporting documents are accurate, truthful, and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information or omits information relating to this certification may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties, including fines or imprisonment.”
*This statement is subject to the False Statements Act.
Can I send CBD oil through private couriers?
Yes. Private shipping companies like FedEx, DHL, and UPS ship CBD oil to destinations across the United States. Online sellers still have to follow Federal regulations and restrictions for CBD products. Most importantly, you must make sure that your hemp-derived products are of no more than 0.3% THC concentration.
How can I ship CBD oil within the United States?
Shipping CBD oil and related products within the United States is much simpler than shipping internationally, as the process and legalities all depend on the country that the products are being shipped to. Here are a few steps to follow when you’re ready to ship your first CBD oil shipment:
- Make sure that your CBD oil or other hemp-derived products conform to Federal Regulations and follow restrictions. (Ex: maximum of 0.3% THC concentration)
- Regardless of what service you use to ship the product, make sure you’re following the aforementioned USPS shipping standards, to avoid legal complications.
- Provide USPS mandated documentation with your products.
- Pack your products with sufficient space and use appropriate packing materials (peanuts, airbags, bubble wrap, etc.). Use tape to further secure your shipping products.
- Schedule a pickup for your goods.
How can I ship CBD oil internationally?
International shipping rules of CBD-related products are much more restrictive than doing so domestically. In the case that you want to introduce your products in the international market, expect to encounter heightened complications and unexpected regulations. Additionally, you must know if your target country allows for the sales of CBD products.
What countries can I ship and sell my CBD products in?
These are the countries where CBD products are legally marketed:
|Austria||Hong Kong||Republic of Slovenia|
Which countries have banned the sales of CBD products?
The sales and distribution of CBD products are forbidden in the following countries:
- United Arab Emirates
Australia* - Though CBD products are legal in Australia, it is heavily regulated and only available to a very small number of medical patients throughout the country. This makes it very difficult to import CBD products into Australia.
What are some CBD regulations or laws I should know about?
CBD regulations and laws vary, depending on the country or union that you’re shipping it to. Here are some of them:
Europe: The general European Union law permits the consumption and use of CBD products, however, certain laws differ upon the country.
Permitted Strength: 0.2% THC
Asia: Asian countries have some of the biggest and strictest regulations of cannabis in the World. (Please refer to the graph)
Latin America: Most Latin American countries have relaxed their laws regarding the legalities and use of cannabinoids.
Moving CBD internationally with Freight Right Global Logistics
As a result of the varied regulations and requirements for importing CBD across the world, it is extremely important for anyone looking to move CBD to partner with a freight forwarder who has experience with this commodity. Check out how the CBD experts on our team handled this recent shipment.
A shipper reached out to us with a large dilemma: their shipment of CBD was sitting in a port, unable to clear customs. Their problem? They had used a courier method to move the freight and were missing essential import documents required to import CBD, including a food sanitation permit.
These two mistakes meant that the end-user, the buyer overseas, couldn’t obtain the freight, even though it had arrived.
The seller reached out to Freight Right and our team of specialists got to work. We contacted our agent on the ground who discovered that the shipper had attempted to import with an old version of the needed import documents. After conferring with our overseas agent, the export team determined the best course was to bring the goods back to the origin point and ship them again with the proper documentation.
Our agent overseas communicated this to the end-user, and we got the goods quoted, shipped, and to the buyer in a few weeks. The customer, then, received the shipment and it made it through customs smoothly.
This story had a satisfactory ending for both buyer and seller, despite the delay. However, it would have been possible to avoid those delays completely if the shipper had utilized Freight Right’s CBD forwarding services from the beginning.
The experts on Freight Right’s team recommend always going with a knowledgeable freight forwarder when moving products with CBD. With all the limitations in various countries, it is almost guaranteed that your freight will be held if you are not working with someone who knows how to navigate the various restrictions.
For example, our experts recommend that shippers looking to move CBD always use air freight and work with a forwarder with a customs broker who can help push correct documentation through. Air shipping allows for more control in choosing the carrier and there are more likely to be fewer complications with air freight than the ocean. Additionally, since CBD is an expensive and light commodity, air freight will tend to be more cost-effective and more secure.
When shipping via air it is important for the freight to go on a direct flight, so the shipper has to be particular and precise about airlines. For example, to move CBD from the U.S to Amsterdam, where CBD is legal if produced outside of the Netherlands and contains less than .2% THC, you couldn’t use Singapore airlines, because the goods will likely be held in Singapore. Even with carriers like DHL or UPS, it is likely that your goods will be held. Therefore, the best course of action when moving CBD is to go with a direct flight and work with a forwarder with expertise in this area who can select the correct flights/airlines.
Moreover, many countries also have very strict regulations about the amount of THC that is allowed in CBD that is imported and it varies country by country. Check out the table below for a summary of CBD regulations by country.
Are you looking to ship CBD internationally? Connect with one of our experts today.
Country-specific CBD Regulations
|Country||Legal/Illegal||Maximum THC %||Notes|
|Germany||Legal||0.2%||CBD must only be used for medical purposes with a Marijuana Card. Recreational marijuana is illegal.|
|Italy||Legal||0.2% - 0.6%|
Maximum THC content 0.2%
The maximum tolerance level of THC 0.6% (higher strains).
|Bulgaria||Legal||0.2%||The first country in the EU to allow the free sale of hemp-derived CBD.|
|Cyprus||Legal||0.2%||Follows the EU protocol.|
|Czech Republic||Legal||0.3%||Higher than the EU limit of 0.2% THC.|
|Austria||Legal||0.3%||THC can only be used in topical products, cannot be consumed.|
The largest producer of hemp in Europe.
0% THC for personal use items.
0.2% for commercial and industrial purposes.
|Greece||Legal||0.2%||Hemp-derived products are not considered illegal, as they don’t have high amounts of THC.|
|Ireland||Legal||0.2%||Follows Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and EU regulations.|
CBD products are considered medicine and do not require a prescription.
Extremely regulated and difficult to import CBD products.
Heavily regulated industry.
It is only legal to use and possess CBD only if it is prescribed by a doctor.
|Norway||Legal||0%||It is legal to use and possess CBD only if it is prescribed by a doctor.|
|The Netherlands||Legal||0.2%||Legal in the Netherlands as long as it was produced outside of their country.|
|Canada||Legal||0.3%||Follows the Cannabis Act regulations.|
|South Africa||Legal||0.001%||Allows only 20 milligrams of CBD per day, no more than 0.00075% CBD.|
|Japan||Legal||0%||Cannabis possession can lead to 5-10 years in prison.|
|South Korea||Legal||Unknown||The first country in East Asia to legalize CBD use.|
|Thailand||Legal||0.01% by weight||Currently has a five-year ban on the imports of 99% of pure CBD oil made from cannabis.|
|Brazil||Legal||Unknown||It only allows for the medical use of CBD for Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, migraine headaches, and epilepsy.|