Exporters of wood and wood fibre products

​Businesses exporting products containing wood and wood fibre from Australia are not directly affected by Australia’s illegal logging laws.

Some of the countries we export wood and wood fibre products to have laws to help stop the trade of illegally logged timber.

Importers in these countries need to provide evidence their wood-based products and components have come from legally harvested forests.

Australian exporters can help by providing information on the origins of the wood and/ or wood fibre in their products.

Timber and wood products sourced from Australian forests may be certified under internationally-recognised schemes. This includes:

  • Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) — known as Responsible Wood in Australia
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Certification is not a mandatory requirement in any market. Each market has several methods available for importers to meet the requirements of their respective laws.

Before you export

We regulate the export of certain goods from Australia. You must comply with Australian law and meet importing country requirements.

Before you export:

  • check if your export goods are regulated by us
  • check the Manual of Importing Country Requirements
  • talk to your importer about any specific requirements
  • read our advice about illegal logging laws in your importing country.

Guidelines

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European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR)

Illegally sourced timber is prohibited from the European Union market.

The European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR):

  1. Prohibits the placing of illegally harvested timber and products on the EU market.
  2. Requires EU traders who place timber products on the EU market to exercise due diligence.

Products covered

The regulation covers a wide range of timber products including:

  • solid wood products
  • flooring
  • plywood
  • pulp and paper.

Products not covered under the EUTR include products made from recycled wood and wood-fibre, and printed paper items such as books, magazines and newspapers.

You can read the full list of products.

How it works

The Timber Regulation applies to timber harvested within the EU and imported timber products.

European importers must do a risk assessment based on information about their product. This must show the:

  • supplier
  • tree species
  • timber’s country of harvest
  • documents attesting to the legality of harvest of the timber in the product.

Your importer from an EU member country may ask you to help provide information that links the product to a legal source.

Further information

View updates and information on the European Union Timber Regulation.

Indonesia Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK)

Indonesia's Sistem Verificasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK) regulations require Indonesian timber importers to demonstrate legality of timber products before importing into Indonesia.

Products covered

The timber products covered include:

  • solid wood products
  • wood pulp
  • paper
  • wooden furniture.

You can read the full list of products.

How it works

The regulations prescribe five alternate pathways for Indonesian importers to use to provide proof of legality:

  • documentation linking the product from a country with either
    • FLEGT licenses
    • Mutual Recognition Arrangement with Indonesia
    • Country Specific Guideline with Indonesia
  • certificates from certification bodies that apply sustainability, legality or traceability (such as FSC and PEFC)
  • a certificate from the authority of country of harvest or origin.

Your Indonesian client may ask you to help provide documentation under one of the above pathways.

Further information

Find out more about the requirements (in Bahasa Indonesia only).

Japan Clean Wood Act

The Clean Wood Act seeks to ensure that timber and timber products for use and distribution in Japan come from legally harvested trees.

Products covered

Products regulated include:

  • solid wood products
  • paper
  • furniture.

You can read the full list of products (on page 2 of this guide).

How it works

Registered Japanese businesses are required to collect documentation on the timber products they are importing to demonstrate the legality of harvest. Your Japanese customers may ask you to help provide:

  1. Information on the timber and timber product origins
    • type and species of trees
    • country or region the trees were harvested
    • weight, area, volume or quantity
    • name or name and address of tree owner, or person exporting timber.
  2. Documents certifying that the trees have been cut down conforming to the laws of the country of harvest.

The Japanese Government has developed a web resource for their importers. This includes a webpage with specific information on Australian timber products. PEFC (Responsible Wood) and FSC certification is recognised under the Clean Wood Act to demonstrate legality.

Further information

Find out more about Japan’s Clean Wood Act.

Malaysia Timber Legality Assurance Scheme

The Peninsular Malaysia Timber Legality Assurance Scheme (MYTLAS) covers timber products exported to Peninsular Malaysia only. It establishes procedures to exclude illegally harvested timber.

Products covered

MYTLAS covers 11 timber and timber products:

  • logs
  • railway sleepers
  • sawn timber
  • veneer
  • mouldings
  • particleboard
  • fibreboard
  • plywood
  • wooden frames
  • joinery products
  • wooden furniture.

How it works

Malaysian importers need to demonstrate compliance with all the relevant laws and procedures governing the supply chain for the forest product.

Australian exporters can help Malaysian importers by providing:

  • harvest permits
  • timber certification details
  • export documentation.

Further information

The Malaysia Timber Council has further information on the MYTLAS.

Republic of Korea Revised Act on Sustainable Use of Timbers

Importers in the Republic of Korea must provide documents that demonstrate that their timber and timber products meet the standards on legality of imported timber.

Products covered

Korean importers are required to present documentation for these timber products:

  • HS4403: logs/ wood in the rough
  • HS4407
    • sawn timber
    • treated timber
    • fire retardant wood
    • laminated wood
  • HS4412: plywood
  • HS4401.01: wood pellets.

See the full list of regulated tariff codes.

How it works

The Korea Forest Service will inspect documentation for each consignment. There are several alternate pathways for demonstrating timber legality:

  1. self-declaration from the exporter (Form 1) to be provided to the importer (available for use by Australian exporters)
  2. PEFC certification claim (Responsible Wood in Australia)
  3. FSC certification or Controlled Wood claim
  4. documents outlined in a Country Specific Guideline Template 
  5. permit for the felling of the timber pursuant to the statutes of the country of origin.

Further information

The Revised Act on Sustainable Use of Timbers provides more information on Korea’s requirements.

United States of America Lacey Act 2008

The Lacey Act bans trafficking in illegal wildlife and includes plants and plant materials in a range of wooden products.

Products covered

Includes solid wood products such as:

  • logs
  • sawn wood
  • plywood
  • wooden barrels
  • builders joinery
  • wooden tool handles
  • wooden musical instruments and furniture.

Read the full list of products.

How it works

The Lacey Act makes it unlawful to import certain plants and plant products, including wood and wooden products from trees, without providing an import declaration.

The import declaration must include:

  • the scientific name of the plant
  • value of the importation
  • quantity of the plant
  • name of the country from where the plant was harvested.

Importers of timber and timer products into the United States can exercise ‘due care’ in determining whether their products are from legal sources. They may ask their suppliers for information to help them with their assessment.

Further information

View updates and information on the Lacey Act.

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