APS Fulfillment, Inc. (www.APSFulfillment.com), one of the nation’s leading cost-effective fulfillment and integrated direct mail marketing companies, is cautioning importers to ensure the company in charge of their order fulfillment has obtained all the proper U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) permits in the wake of the detainment of shipments during the Sochi Olympics.

“When it comes to receiving products and getting them shipped to waiting customers, time is of the essence. In fact, not obtaining the proper import release permits can result in shipments being detained for weeks or even months,” says Charles Aultman, president of APS Fulfillment, Inc. “This was evidenced this past February, when customs officials in Russia detained and ultimately rejected products destined for American Olympic athletes because the shipments didn’t contain the necessary paperwork.” (Source: Lopez, R., “Sochi Olympics: 5,000 cups of Chobani Greek yogurt are detained,” The Los Angeles Times, February 13, 2014; http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-chobani-sochi-olympics-russia-20140207,0,6299504.story)

While this example occurred in Russia, Aultman notes that it highlights just how important it is to ensure businesses have obtained all of the necessary permits to import products into the United States. Businesses that import or export certain types of materials into the U.S. may need a permit from the USDA. Unfortunately, not every order fulfillment company in South Florida is permitted to receive and ship any and every product

For example, he explains, businesses need a permit if they import or transport animals, animal products, biologics, biotechnology, or plants: that includes everything from live animals to medical devices to nutritional supplement capsules made from beef gelatin. The USDA regulations are designed to prevent the introduction of diseases (foot-and-mouth disease, African swine fever, hog cholera) and threats to public health, agriculture, the environment, and national security.

Shipments entering the U.S. are checked for proper import permits, packaging, and labeling. According to Aultman, materials that do not have the proper import permit will be held at the port of entry until a permit is applied for and issued.

“To avoid unnecessary delay, it’s imperative that businesses work with a fulfillment company that has the proper USDA import permit for the restricted biological materials they want to import,” he concludes. “It’s one thing to hire a fulfillment company that is close to major transportation hubs, but it’s quite another to hire one that can actually receive the products once they get there. APS Fulfillment has a USDA commercial permit to import and store materials that may contain bovine- or porcine-derived components.”

APS Fulfillment, Inc. is one of the United States’ leading cost-effective fulfillment and integrated direct mail marketing companies, offering affordable and real-time fulfillment services to small, medium, and large companies. Its state-of-the-art technology provides turnkey solutions for high-volume perfect-match mailings, personalized direct mail, snap-pak mailers, postcards, and triple-tabbed booklets. More information on APS Fulfillment, Inc. is available by visiting the firm’s web site at www.APSFulfillment.com or by calling 954-582-7450.