Oceans apart yet united in collaboration, a great meeting of the minds between Australia and Canada took place last month at the Canadian Forest Industry delegation briefing, held on 1 April 2015 at the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney.

The long-standing relationship between Australia and North America/Canada was strengthened during the delegation meeting, bringing together a wide array of guests from various corners of the Australian
timber industry.

The Australian Timber Importers Federation’s (ATIF) assisted in facilitating the meeting, with esteemed guests from the Canadian forestry industry including Chuck Dentleback, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Canadian Lumber Standards Accreditation Board (CLSAB); Rick Jeffery, President and CEO of Coast Forest Products Association and also the CEO of Canada Wood; and Barry Ford, General Manager of Canada Wood Group (CW) and the Phytosanitary Manager.

The meeting was held to discuss emerging trends and the opportunities to improve the future timber trade opportunities between Canada and Australia.

The gathering provided guests with an important update regarding the meetings that have been taking place between the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

These meetings have been covering the proposed Green Lumber Certification program and the Canadian Untreated Wood Products Certification Program.

These programs, if approved, will provide assurances that green Canadian timber can continue to be exported to Australia from Canadian shores, without the limitations of strict phytosanitary certificates.

The goal is to ensure Canadian timber products will still be readily available to the Australian market for years to come.

John Halkett, General Manager of the ATIF, said the presentation relating to the proposed changes to phytosanitary arrangements were supported by the Australian industry audience present.

“Ensuring that Canadian green timber exporting companies are briefed beforehand and compliant with the strengthened arrangements of the Green Lumber Certification (GLS) scheme is considered to be important so that the continuity of trade is not interrupted.

“Also, we intend to have discussions with the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) to ensure that ongoing port inspection regimes are based on the mandatory and more certain nature of the GLS, reducing the time and cost burden of border inspections for timber importers,” John stated.

He added that the Australian timber industry representatives would look forward to hearing more about the finalisation and implementation of the proposed schemes.