3 March 2020
This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to advise exporters of their responsibility to provide documentary evidence of timber legality to their importer, when exporting some types of wood products to the Republic of Korea.
Summary of changes and key points
- On 1 October 2019, the Korea Forest Service (KFS) implemented new requirements for importers of certain wood products to demonstrate timber legality.
- The requirements apply to the following HS codes
- 4403 (logs/wood in the rough)
- 4407 (sawn timber, treated timber, fire retardant wood and laminated wood)
- 4412 (plywood)
- 4401-31 (wood pellets).
- Exporters of these products should provide documentary evidence to their Korean importer prior to customs clearance to assist them in satisfying their legal requirements.
- Failure to provide the necessary documentation may result in consignments being held at the Korean border, returned, or destroyed.
- All Australia-based exporters of Australian grown wood qualify for the self-declaration pathway because of Australia’s illegal logging laws (Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012).
- Exporters may also use third-party forest management and chain of custody certification, or documents referrenced in the Australian CSG for Korea, to meet evidentiary requirements.
- The Manual of importing Country Requirements (MICoR) has been updated to reflect the new requirements.
In 2018, Korea introduced new laws regarding the sustainable use of timbers. The Australian Government has worked with KFS to gain a full understanding of Korea’s importer timber laws and to ensure there are no negative impacts on Australia’s exports of wood products to Australia, provided the appropriate documentation is provided upon export.
Australian exporters of the wood products listed above should provide evidence of timber legality to their Korean importer with each consignment. Refer to MICoR for information on what types of documentation can be used as evidence.
If you have any questions regarding this IAN please email the department’s Forestry Branch.