Friday, 12 February 2016 15:13

Importing Tropical Hardwood Lumber Requires Special Attention

Hardwood lumber harvesting techniques and practices around the world are not always as advanced and regulated as those used in North America.  The world has been dealing with the issues of illegal harvesting and deforestation for decades.  Many fine organizations, have spent countless hours and resources on fixing the issues but there is always more work to be done.

Baillie Lumber believes we all have a part in ensuring that hardwoods imported from different parts of the world are done correctly and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the country and the industry. For example, we carefully select and interview our tropical species suppliers worldwide.  We have developed an internal program for tracking and storing all documents related to the lumber we import for our customers.  We also secure proper logging and operation permits for any of the suppliers we purchase from overseas.  This is a practice we take very seriously in order to hold ourselves and our suppliers free of any future harm.

In addition, everything we import adheres to the Lacey Act requirements.  jesper-tree-farm

The Lacey Act was first introduced to the U.S. Congress by John Lacey and enacted in 1900 to protect fish and wildlife within the United States and to prevent the introduction of foreign birds and animals.  It was amended in 2008 to include plants, and specifically to control the importation of lumber and products made from lumber.  The primary purpose of the Lacey Act as it affects us is to prevent the trade and shipment of illegally harvested lumber or lumber products.

Under the Lacey Act, lumber importers are required to file declarations of compliance as a part of the importation process.  Lacey Act certification concerns not only the origin of timber, but also requires that such material be legally harvested, and that payment of appropriate local taxes and fees has been made and that all activities related to the handling and processing of the material is in compliance with laws at the point of origin.

Our compliance with the Lacey Act ensures our customers that we have followed all the necessary requirements of the regulation.  Furthermore, it signifies that we have exercised diligence to be sure that the products we provide come from suppliers that operate within the laws of their country, including the United States.

A frequently asked question is “can you please provide us with Lacey Act compliance documents”, unfortunately nothing like that exists that we can pass on to our customers at this point. If our product passes all of the import requirements, it is released and transported to our facility, we do not receive any type of document stating that the product was Lacey Act compliant from US Fish and Wildlife.

Lastly, we stress with our customers that it is important to know your tropical hardwood lumber source and to know you can trust they understand and adhere to the rules of importing hardwood lumber. Our team has over 23 years of experience in tropical hardwoods worldwide.  In today’s market the knowledge and information that comes with that is invaluable.

The evolution and progress in the lumber industry over the past ten to fifteen years has been remarkable.  Almost every region of the world is working diligently to stop illegal logging and to make sure that all local and foreign regulations are being followed. It’s great to see such steps being taken to secure the future supply of tropical timber, to strive for sustainably managed forest and to continue to provide a source of income for the local populations around the world.

If you have any questions about imported hardwood lumber, the specific products we can source or the practices Baillie Lumber follows give us a call.  We would welcome the conversation.

Jesper Bach
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