New Zealand expands trial program to export timber products to Australia without methyl bromide fumigation; minister says system of keeping inspected timber in insect-proof environment or container eliminates treatment cost for exporters

WELLINGTON, New Zealand , May 8, 2014 (press release) – Associate Primary Industries Minister Jo Goodhew is welcoming the expansion of a trial which has successfully exported timber products to Australia without chemical treatment.

“Forest product exporters are normally required to fumigate with methyl bromide or other chemical treatment during the summer flight season of the burnt pine longhorn beetle,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“The non-chemical solution requires that inspected timber is either kept within an insect-proof environment until it is put in a container and sealed, or put in a container during daylight hours of the same day to avoid the nocturnal beetle.

“Negotiating alternative solutions with trading partners such as Australia in this case, eliminates the cost of treatment and creates savings for exporters.”

Six containers of solid timber products (door cores of the type used in fire doors) have been successfully exported to Australia as part of the trial. Their shipment occurred under a programme agreed between MPI and Australia last year.

“Following these successful trial shipments the new initiative will be available as an option for timber exporters to Australia for the 2014/2015 summer flight season,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“This new initiative is an example of government supporting, in a small but significant way, the timber processing industry.”

The initiative has been developed in consultation with industry via the Forest Product Export Committee. The trial involves shipments from Inglewood Timber Processors.

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