The Hardwood Federation shared the following information regarding the recent restrictions announced by Chinese customers officials pertaining to imported logs and apples from the U.S.
As you may know, the Chinese government has ramped up quarantine checks on raw logs and apples entering Chinese ports. Evidently pests were found on shipments originating from the United States which triggered this action. Fumigation at the ports in China is apparently not an option, although this is routinely done in Hong Kong. Shipments at Chinese ports that are found to have pest contamination are either re-exported to the U.S. or destroyed—two outcomes that are problematic. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture’ Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) staff, about 5,700 U.S. containers await inspection at or near ports in China.
This afternoon APHIS Deputy Administrator Osama El-Lissy convened a conference call with participants from the hardwood sector to discuss the developing situation in China regarding the ramped-up inspections of containers with untreated logs. El-Lissy started the call by recapping the issue in which the Chinese General Administration on Customs (GACC) announced that treatment of raw logs in country will no longer be allowed at Chinese ports and that logs fumigated in Hong Kong will no longer be allowed entry either. Regarding the latter, evidently there has been some fraudulent documentation on shipments coming through Hong Kong. Logs that have been fumigated in the U.S. prior to shipment and are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate will continue to be allowed entry into Chinese ports.
Deputy Administrator El-Lissy announced that he and his team have been in discussions with Chinese officials to resolve the situation with untreated logs and continue trade in these products without interruption. Based on these discussions, China has agreed to allow for in-country fumigation for shipments that are currently on the water provided that the company can demonstrate that it has successfully exported logs to China in the past. This concession does not apply to future shipments, however, and so negotiations with the Chinese government on this matter continue. This issue continues to be ONLY on logs and not hardwood lumber.
To facilitate collection of shipment information to demonstrate successful export transactions with China in the past, APHIS staff has created two spreadsheet templates (details below), which can be obtained by emailing: Hardwood.Federation@HardwoodFederation.com.
They have requested that shippers populate the spreadsheet and return to Tyrone Jones –John.T.Jones@aphis.usda.gov - at APHIS by close of business (Eastern Standard Time) on Friday, May 11. They will compile all the submissions and share them with the GACC.
HF will continue to update the industry as we get further information.
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