2012-42 - Plant Export Operations - Export licence for unprocessed wood

​12 September 2012

Purpose

To remind exporters that in certain circumstances an export licence is required for the export of unprocessed wood (including woodchips).

Background

The Export Control Act 1982, and the regulations under this Act1, require an export licence from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry for the export of two tonnes or more of:

  • Woodchips.
  • Wood in the round which is intended to undergo further processing following export.
  • Wood with a cross sectional area of 225 square centimetres or greater which is intended to undergo further processing following export.

Woodchips are classed as unprocessed wood under the regulations. Any enquiries on what is classed as unprocessed wood should be directed to the Forestry Branch on 02 6272 5079.

Under the regulations, the requirement for an export licence for unprocessed wood is dependent on where the wood has been sourced. The regulations state that an export licence for unprocessed wood is not required if the wood is sourced from:

  • A region covered by a Regional Forest Agreement (RFA). The regions covered by RFAs are shown on the attached map and are detailed on the Regions page.
  • A plantation in any state or territory except Queensland.

The most common unprocessed wood product which requires an export licence is all naturally grown logs, limbs and stumps of Sandalwood.

Export Licence Requirements

Table 1 details the export licensing requirements by state and territory and the source of the unprocessed wood product.

There is no cost for a licence to export unprocessed wood. Once a completed application and all other required documentation has been received by the department, licences may take up to two weeks to be issued. A sample of a licence to export unprocessed wood is attached.

Exporters can find information on how to obtain an export licence for unprocessed wood on Export Control Guidelines for Wood or by emailing Wood Exports.

Table 1 – Requirement for an export licence based on wood source
State Native forest sourced wood Plantation sourced wood
Sourced from within RFA regions Sourced from outside of RFA regions
Victoria A licence is not required A licence is required A licence is not required
New South Wales A licence is not required A licence is required A licence is not required
Western Australia A licence is not required A licence is required A licence is not required
Tasmania A licence is not required as the entire state is covered by an ​RFA A licence is not required
South Australia Not applicable as native forest harvesting is not permitted A licence is not required
Queensland A licence is required A licence is required
Australian Capital Territory Not applicable as native forest harvesting is not permitted A licence is not required
Northern Territory A licence is required A licence is not required

Exporter’s responsibilities

  • If required, exporters must obtain a licence to export unprocessed wood prior to export.
  • If the importing country requires phytosanitary certification for the unprocessed wood, the exporter must provide details of the wood source to the authorised officer at the time of inspection booking. If a licence to export unprocessed wood is also required, it must be presented to the authorised officer at this time.
  • Exporters should refer to the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) prior to export to ensure that they can comply with import conditions.

Authorised Officer’s responsibilities

  • The only responsibility authorised officers have in relation to this IAN is to inform unprocessed wood exporters of the possible requirement to hold a licence to export unprocessed wood.

If you have any further enquiries, please contact the Grain & Seed Export Program on 02 6272 3229 or the Forestry Branch on 02 6272 5079.

David Heinrich
A/g Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations
Grain Exports.

1 The regulations under the Export Control Act 1982 are the Export Control (Unprocessed Wood) Regulations, Export Control (Hardwood Wood Chips) Regulations and the Export Control (Regional Forest Agreements) Regulations.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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