top of page

Animal Feed Export Shipping from the US

Freight Forwarding and Shipping Requirements for Exporting

The animal feed industry has significantly grown over the years. In 2022, animal food was the world’s 106th most traded product, with a total trade of $44.5 billion and a 0.19% global share. 

The United States also saw exponential growth in its animal feed industry, with the year’s statistics ranking it third among top exporters. Its animal feed exports amounted to approximately $4.34 billion, which was an impressive 8.8% of the total global animal feed exports. 

The US’s top markets for animal feeds include Vietnam, Malaysia, China, the Philippines, and Indonesia. These countries have a high demand for animal feed due to their booming livestock sectors. Locally produced feed isn’t enough to meet this demand, which makes it imperative for them to outsource. Animal Feed consists of meat and bone meal (porcine & bovine origins), poultry by-product meal, hydrolyzed feather meal and plant-based fees like Alfalfa Hay. 

According to research, the United States' exports of other animal feeds have fluctuated over time, with an average of $1522.61 million from 1989 to 2024. Despite occasional variations, the United States maintains a consistent flow of exports, aided by its broad range of feed products.


USDA APHIS, VS Export Certificate and Endorsement Process and Requirements:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) has a primary role of certification of animal products for export by providing the exporter and importer certification about the animal health status of the region of origin of the product in the US. If other certifications are required, APHIS, VS may not be the Agency authorized to provide the required export certificate.

USDA, VS has created the International Animal Product Export Regulations (IRegs) for Animal Product Exports can be found on the IRegs website.  The requirements per country differ, but the general process consists the following:

  1. Goto the IRegs website, scroll down and select the country of destination,

  2. Read the requirements shown for the destination country by downloading any PDFs related to the product being exported,

  3. Select the State of the Exporter by either selecting “Certificate Endorsement or Export Questions” or “Facility Inspections or Questions.” The “Certificate Endorsement” dropdown is for animal product export certificate endorsement or questions and the “Facility Inspections or Questions” dropdown is specifically to schedule an inspection of an Export facility.


  • All of the certificates or endorsements require a visual inspection of the product(s). If an affidavit is required of APHIS,VS, the manufacturer must be the one to provide the notarized affidavit and attest to the statements on the certificate. The original notarized affidavit must be mailed to the specific APHIS, VS office in the state of the exporter – APHIS, VS are legally required to have it on file in their office before they can endorse the certificate(s).

  • To ask USDA VS about endorsing an animal product export certificate, schedule an animal product export facility inspection, or related questions, click here.

  • Important: the exporter must still have the importer confirm with their Country’s Ministry of Health on what export requirements they have for the USDA VS.


AFIA’s Role in the Animal Feed Industry

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has over 650 domestic and international members, such as livestock feed and pet food manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and ingredient suppliers. AFIA is the world’s leading organization committed to representing the interests of the US animal feed industry and its suppliers. The organization’s members collectively produce 75% of all animal feed and 70% of non-whole grain ingredients, such as soybean meal used in the US.

According to AFIA, the feed business is among the major industries of American agriculture. It has over 5,800 animal food manufacturing facilities and produces more than 284 million tons of safe feed annually in the US. Additionally, AFIA has confirmed the sustainability of the animal feed industry, stating that 40% of the ingredients used come from other industries.


Trade Missions

AFIA’s recent blog post has shown the significance of trade missions in developing global relations and their growing support for international members. And, with AFIA’s collaboration with the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), facilitating trade missions in international countries like Vietnam, China, Brazil, and, most recently, Morocco has been made possible.

These international trade missions are different from those of the US, as these seek to bring together individuals from various commodity groups and agricultural sectors. The trade missions’ goal is to connect US exporters with potential customers, gather market insights, and, consequently, make sales.  

The Pet Food Industry

The pet food industry, a subsidiary of the animal food industry, has also experienced major growth in the market, with US exports coming up to $2.47 billion in 2022. This marks a 6.2% rise in exports between 2013 and 2022.

Canada is the largest importer of US pet food, followed by China, Mexico, and Japan. However, since trade restrictions on the US exporting pet food to China were lifted, China’s numbers have soared, almost surpassing Canada’s.

In 2022, China’s pet population grew from 69 million to 186 million, which resulted in a $264 million record in US pet food exports to the country. With this demand, the country’s pet food imports skyrocketed from $10 million to $672 million. This made China the world's fastest-growing importer in the pet food industry.

This growth came following the US-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement in 2020. The trade pact sought to increase market access in China by loosening import restrictions and lifting the ban on ruminant and poultry product ingredients used in pet food.

Working with an experienced freight forwarder for Animal Feed exports

With the growth of the US animal feed export industry comes the responsibility of complying with international standards. Each stage requires attention to detail, from obtaining APHIS, VS certification to organizing logistics with freight forwarders and Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs). US exporters should consider partnering with seasoned Ocean Freight Forwarder and NVOCC such as Shipit Logistics to assist in streamlining these operations and ensure trade transactions are running smoothly.



bottom of page