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Australian timber industry consolidates and improves systems to verify legally harvested wood

AUSTRALIAN TIMBER and forest-based product industries are starting a project to consolidate and improve systems to verify that the wood they import and use is sourced from legal forest operations.
Legality of forest harvesting and importation of forest-based products is a complex issue. For a number of years different sectors of the industry have carried out activities aimed at maximising the certainty of importing timber and forest-based products that are sourced from legal harvesting. Substantial progress has already been made in addressing the potential risks.
Major timber and forest-based product associations have joined forces to undertake a project with the aim of developing a cross sectoral Code of Conduct. Members of these associations are responsible for the vast majority of timber and wood products imported into Australia, then distributed through subsequent processing, manufacturing and building supply chains.
The project will review, analyse, build on and compliment existing Australian and internationally-recognised industry guidelines, codes, third party certification and responsible purchasing policies for legally sourced wood-based products. The objective of the project is to develop a cross sectoral Code of Conduct to ultimately assist all timber and forest-based product importers and the domestic timber and related industries to establish appropriate systems and processes for verifying that timber and forest-based products are derived from legal forest operations as a minimum requirement.
This joint research and development of a Code of Conduct by timber and related industry organisations will support the Australian Government’s commitment to work with timber and forest-based product manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers to ensure that products are obtained only from legally verified forestry activities, irrespective of the country of origin.
Development of a plan to address the limitations and capabilities of the diverse industry sectors in adopting the Code of Conduct is also part of the project. The project is being supported and funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
The project is being managed by the Timber Development Association (NSW).
The project team is comprised of staff from the following industry organisations:

o Australian Plantation Products and Paper Industry Council (A3P)

o Australian Timber Importers Federation (ATIF)

o Australian Wood Panels Association (recently merged into EWPAA)

o Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA)

o Furnishing Industry Association of Australia (FIAA)

o National Association of Forest Industries (NAFI)

o Queensland Timber Importers Exporters and Wholesalers Association (QTIEWA)

o Timber Development Association (NSW)

o Windows and Doors Industry Council (WADIC)