Canada Finalizes New Agreement for Exportation of Untreated Sawn Wood to Australia

News Release

Interdepartmental and industry collaboration key to maintaining Canada's thriving forestry industry

May 9, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) have established a national certification program that ensures untreated Canadian sawn wood can continue to be exported to Australia. The establishment of the Canadian Untreated Sawn Wood Certification Program is an important achievement for Canada as over $40 million worth of untreated sawn wood is exported to Australia annually.

The Canadian Untreated Sawn Wood Certification Program replaces the Canadian Accredited Timber Scheme (CATS), a voluntary pre-shipment inspection program that facilitated the entry of untreated Canadian sawn wood into Australia. Both Canada and Australia recognized the potential for the CATS program to be developed into an official export certification program to mitigate pest risk and ensure continued market access.

Registration in the Canadian Untreated Sawn Wood Certification Program is mandatory and ensures that exports are compliant with Australia's phytosanitary import requirements.

The scientific research that supports this initiative was led by the CFIA, in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada's Canadian Forest Service, and supported by the Canadian Lumber Standards Accreditation Board (CLSAB) and Canada Wood. This achievement further demonstrates the value of the Government of Canada's science to growing the Canadian economy, supporting jobs and protecting the global environment from the spread of plant pests and diseases.

The program will be delivered by accredited agencies under the oversight of CLSAB, a recognized CFIA verification body. The accredited agencies will be responsible for evaluating and auditing Canadian mills registered under the program to maintain ongoing compliance.

Quick Facts

  • Approximately 9% of the world's forests are in Canada.
  • Canada leads the world with 166 million hectares of forest certified as sustainably managed.
  • Canada's exports of untreated sawn lumber to Australia in 2015 were valued at $41.9 million.
  • In 2015, Canada's forest product exports contributed $39.7 billion in net trade.


Suggested quote pending approval & potential changes:

"The development of the program supports Canada's forestry exports while decreasing the risk of spreading pathogens or pests that could cause harm to global ecosystems. This is an example of Canada's dedication to both environmental and economic sustainability and would not have been possible without the strong industry, international and interdepartmental collaboration that took place. Canadian forestry exports have increased in value by over $9 billion since 2011 and will continue to rise with increased international market access."

Lawrence MacAulay, Canada's Minister of Agriculture

"Our Government will continue to work with our international partners to expand global markets for Canada's forestry sector. Today's announcement demonstrates our commitment to science and to investments in world leading technologies and processes that complements a broader federal strategy to help Canada's forest industry diversify markets."

Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources

"The Canadian industry sought and gained a predictable market access approach using an alternative service delivery and is confident with this approach that the market can increase from the current $41.9 million to $100 million annually."

Chuck Dentelbeck, President & CEO, Canadian Lumber Standards Accreditation Board

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