UK timber trade group questions plywood import declarations under EU's duty-free coniferous plywood quota, suggests increase in declared Chinese imports to 19,080 m3 from 12,299 m3 a year ago could be result of deliberate misdeclaration by traders

LOS ANGELES , September 5, 2013 () – U.K. timber industry group the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has raised questions about declared volumes of plywood imports from China and Malaysia under the EU's duty-free coniferous plywood quota, according to a report by industry journal TTJ.

The TTF has written to HM Revenue & Customs, which supplied the quota import statistics, to express concerns about product misdeclaration by traders.

Allocations under the quota from China were 19,080 m3 this year compared with 12,299 m3 a year ago, while Malaysia's allocation was 1,081 m3 after declaring no product in 2012.

According to the TTF, traders should only declare plywood under the quota that is fully coniferous throughout, while Chinese products featuring poplar do not qualify.

The declarations could have been made because of traders' ignorance about poplar, mistakes or deliberate misdeclarations, the TTF said. In addition, some traders could be assuming that paler poplar face veneers are softwood because less red-faced hardwood is being used as veneers.

A further 342 m2 was declared from Chile, suggesting ignorance on the part of some traders about the free trade agreement between the U.K. and Chile.

Brazil accounted for the largest quota volume at 132,523 m3, up from 141,911 m3 last year, while volumes from Canada remained close to last year's level at 1,039 m3. Declared volumes from Russia grew to 774 m3 from 574 m3 in 2012.

The primary source of this article is TTJ, Sidcup, U.K., on Aug. 29, 2013.

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