Bringing firewood into Puerto Rico presents a serious risk to the island’s natural and agricultural resources. Harmful forest pests often lurk in wood products, like firewood, and escape to invade new areas when moved from one location to another. Island habitats are especially vulnerable to invasive insects and diseases which could cause irreversible damage if they are introduced. As a result, any wood products, including firewood, that are brought to Puerto Rico need to be certified heat-treated to ensure they are pest-free.
Bringing firewood into the United States from Puerto Rico also poses a serious risk to the forests and agricultural resources of the United States. For this reason, you must declare any plant or agricultural materials, including firewood, that you have with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection so it can be inspected for pests and diseases before you enter the U.S. mainland. Puerto Rico is under federal quarantine for the imported fire ant. As such, inspection officials may consider your firewood a risk of spread due to its proximity to imported fire ant infestation and deny its entry. Further, all wood packaging material entering or transiting the United States from Puerto Rico must be heat-treated or fumigated and marked with an approved certification logo. Please also be aware that many U.S. states have their own rules and regulations regarding firewood. For example, it is against state law to bring un-certified firewood into Florida from anywhere that is over 50 miles outside the state border.
To prevent you the spread of harmful pests, never travel long distances with firewood; instead, get your firewood where you’ll burn it.
This summary is accurate to the best of DMF staff abilities as of 1 August 2022.
- Puerto Rico Plant Protection Regulations
- Federal Quarantine Information on Imported Fire Ant
- CBP Advises on Summer Travel to the US Caribbean
- Offshore Plant Health Safeguarding Activities, USDA APHIS
- Information for Travelers Coming to the U.S. Mainland from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
- Pleasure Boat Clearance Procedures and Information
- Wood Packaging Material, USDA APHIS
- Puerto Rico Must Guard Against Invasive Species, 2017 Article by the Puerto Rico Report
- Florida Don’t Move Firewood Summary