Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

As market diversification increases, so do number of phytosanitary issues

Brian Zak

By Brian Zak

November 3, 2011

Large wooden structures such as these townhomes in Shanghai are gaining in popularity -- just one of several factors leading to the increased demand for Canadian wood products in Asia.

Monitoring and attending to phytosanitary issues of our forest products in the offshore markets continues to be challenging.  Shipments have expanded as new entrants to offshore markets become increasingly prevalent and, as existing shippers   reach further into traditional and newly expanding markets.   Shippers continue to reduce their reliance on the US marketplace as its recovery continues to languish with no visible signs of strength in the foreseeable future.

The trending of volumes being shipped to the offshore markets continues to increase as shown in the following table. The percentage of offshore shipments in comparison to total shipments has grown annually from 9% in 2005, to >37% in the first 8 months of 2011.   Based on YTD shipments the offshore volumes will have more than doubled by the end of 2011 over 2005 levels. 

These volumes are significant in terms of workloads for CFIA and Canada Wood staff especially in the Western Region.

Comments from Industry analysts and industry shippers both anticipate that continued success with clients in the offshore markets and the reduced reliance on the US marketplace will likely be part of the longer term strategy for a majority of Canadian shippers.

There continues to be an increasing number of difficulties incurred at the receiving end in the offshore inspection and entry process.  This is further evidenced by the amount of collaboration between CFIA, Canada Wood, and Embassy staffs in clarifying the export requirements of importing countries and entry into new Ports.

The following table outlines the significance of the phytosanitary workloads in the Western Region which are directly proportional to shipment volumes:

                            2011 YTD (Aug.31st) Canadian Softwood Lumber

                           Origin of Offshore Shipments – 3.4 Billion FBM

Lumber Units

BC

Prairie Prov

Ont

PQ

Maritimes

Volume-FBM

3.2 billion

134 million

3 million

74 million

6 million

%

93.7%

3.9%

<1%

2%

<1%

Values Cda $

$ 1.47 Billion

$84.85 million

 $3.16 million

$36.2 million

$6.34 million

CFIA statistics also depict the same trends of workloads for their
staff being directly proportional to the increasing offshore shipments.
Phytosanitary inspections and phytosanitary certificates (PCs)
in Asian markets alone have increased when comparing the volumes over the last
three years:

*  In 2008, CFIA issued 3,900 PCs, and in 2010
they issued over 8,000 PCs. Over 95% of these PCs were issued to BC shippers.

*  The 2011 shipments year-to-date continue to
pressure the need for phytosanitary inspections, certificates, and the
involvement of the Western Region phytosanitary specialist.

*  Lumber shipments to China in the first 8
months of 2011 exceed shipments in all of 2010.

*  Canada Wood is working with CFIA to develop
“alternate service delivery options” – meaning the option of using an
industry-certificate instead of a phytosanitary certificate.

Phytosanitary
Issues

1. Documentation:

Phytosanitary documentation for offshore exports has become
increasingly complex and varies by country for different species and the
various product categories. New shippers to offshore programs are continually
referred to Canada Wood staff for an “understanding of the rules” and how to
prepare their product for “export inspections” and/or “offshore entry
requirements.”

*  Documentation breaches are viewed seriously,
especially so in the Asian markets. As the broader industry expands it reach
into new markets or into new Ports of the existing markets, the breaches have
increased.

*  Clearance delays continue throughout 2011 –
some of which are the result of industry infractions associated with new
shippers. Delays at the China and India receiving ports are also attributed to
“port staff or individuals” who are interpreting the rules differently from
negotiated rulings with Canada.

*  Seizures and forfeitures associated with
breaches in phytosanitary rules and documentation has reduced – however
“treatment on entry requirements” has increased. This is most often related to
the “mis-interpretations” associated with our species, documentation and/or
KD/HT treatments that are not understood at time of entry by individual
inspectors.

*  Import Permits are oftentimes required by
many offshore markets and need to be presented to CFIA for Phytosanitary
Inspections. We continue to see permits made out in the wrong species names or
new shippers not understanding the rules.

2. Country Matrix Guidelines

Canada Wood and CFlA have been in continuous discussions on how
best to increase the understanding of Canadian shippers to the rules and
regulations in the offshore markets. Canada Wood had proposed to publish the
“Phytosanitary Guidelines Matrix” for Offshore Markets on the Canada Wood
website. CFIA in the last week has now offered suggestions on how Canada Wood
might consider the trial publishing of “phytosanitary guidelines” on the Canada
Wood website.

These “Guidelines” would provide the rudimentary information for
the phytosanitary conditions of entry into 15-18 offshore markets and it would
provide industry with enough information for to determine whether or not one
needs to get the “official clarifications” from CFIA. It is the intent of
Canada Wood to keep these current and add different countries going forward.
Watch for this Matrix by early Spring.

3. Other Issues being addressed by Canada Wood:

*  E-Certification and/or E-Mail Certification
trials being addressed by CFIA and Cda Wood.

*  E-signatures on HT Certificates continues to
be explored – might fit in with E-Mail Certifications between Governments

*  China Taicang log and lumber – offload delays
for up to 2 weeks – addressing in China

*  Timeliness of PCs = industry want an increase
in “alternative service delivery programs”

*  Fumigation alternative(s) being explored –
Phosphine looking potentially out of reach at this point in time – time,
temperature, corrosiveness, and more $ needed to finish the research yet. It
does show that it has some promise at being a potential fumigant.

*  India:

Import permits for 3 species of SPF – we are pushing for 1
collective-mix permit for SPF

The acceptance of Eastern species of spruce and Ash is in process

India – HT Cert as an option to a PC is being addressed

*  Indonesia is regulating for Pinewood Nematode
and they want any species that has “true firs” to be HT prior to entry
including Hem-Fir. This is being addressed by CFIA in order to allow green
Hem-Fir to have entry without treatments.

*  Malaysia is regulating HT on the basis of 74
degrees C to the lumber core for a minimum of 6 hours depending on the
thickness. Canada Wood is working with CFIA to accept the CHTWPCP 56 degree/30
minutes at the core and hope to have it resolved before March.

*  Canada Wood is working with CFIA and DFAIT to
convince Turkey to treat the entry of Cedar equal to that of the EU.

Questions or Comments can be sent to Brian Zak (zak@allforestsolutions.com)