PRODUCTS TRADE POLICY HIGHLIGHTS - SEPTEMBER 2001
Program for Coniferous Non-Manufactured Wood Packing Material to
|On March 12 of this year, the
European Union adopted temporary emergency measures requiring
that all new and used coniferous pallets, boxes and other forms
of non-manufactured wood packing material (NMWP) originating in
the United States, Canada, China, or Japan be treated and marked,
beginning October 1, 2001, to prevent the introduction of the
pinewood nematode. The American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC),
at the request of USDA Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service
(APHIS), has developed will oversee the implementation of the
official U.S. program for verifying compliance. The EU measures
also allow for the use of fumigation and chemical pressure
impregnation. Ten inspection agencies are currently accredited by
ALSC to provide on-sight inspection of manufacturers of NMWP.
Additional information on the EUs measures and use of all
three treatment options can be found on the APHIS web site: www.aphis.usda.gov
|Korea Bans Import of
Oak and Alder from Specified Areas
|Effective August 16, 2001,
South Korea banned the import of oak products from eight counties
in California and one county in Oregon due a recent outbreak of
Sudden Oak Death in the area. The measure also applies to oak
originating in Germany and the Netherlands. Oak from other
counties in California and elsewhere in the United States must be
accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate stating the source.
Alder from England, Sweden, Germany, France, Austria and
Netherlands was also banned under the measure. Earlier this year,
Canada banned the import of unprocessed oak products from
affected areas in the United States.
|UN Forum on Forests Meets
|The United Nations Forum on
Forests (UNFF) met in New York, June 11-22, 2001. Over 125
countries, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental
organizations participated in the meeting. The UNFF adopted a
multi-year (2001-2005) program of work for the period 2001-2005
aimed at a plan of action to guide the "effective and
coherent implementation"of the proposals for action. The
next meeting of the UNFF is scheduled for March 4-15, 2002, in
San Jose, Costa Rica.
Ramin Be Included on Appendix III of CITES
|On May 18, 2001, the
Government of Indonesia requested the Secretariat of CITES
(Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora) to include ramin on Appendix III. The listing
was effective August 6, 2001. An Appendix III listing obligates
the CITES Management Authority in Indonesia to verify that all
shipments have been obtained legally. Shipments must also be
accompanied by export permit issued by the Management Authority.
Shipments of ramin originating in countries other than Indonesia
are required to have a certificate of origin.
Import and Use of Wood Treated with Copper Compounds
|The Netherlands has notified
the European Commission and the World Trade Organization of a
decree banning the use, trade, and import of wood treated with
copper compounds. The ban would effectively eliminate U.S.
exports of treated lumber to the Netherlands, along with U.S.
softwoods destined for treatment in the Netherlands. U.S.
softwood lumber and treated lumber exports to the Netherlands
were $5.75 million in 2000.
Preliminary Subsidy Determination on Canadian Softwood Lumber
|On August 10, the Department
of Commerce (DOC) announced its preliminary subsidy
determination, finding a net countervailable subsidy rate of
19.31 percent. The duty took effect on August 17, and is
applicable to most Canadian softwood lumber and softwood lumber
products (e.g. flooring, siding). Products manufactured in the
Maritime Provinces are exempt. DOC also made an affirmative
preliminary determination of critical circumstances. If
DOCs final determinations are affirmative, the duty will be
imposed retroactively 90 days prior to August 10. DOC is
scheduled to make its preliminary antidumping determination on
September 24 and its final countervailing duty determination on
October 23. On August 21, Canada formally requested accelerated
consultations under the World Trade Organizations dispute
settlement mechanism on the preliminary subsidy determination.
Fourth Joint Status Report
|On July 30, 2001, the United
States and Japan issued the Fourth Joint Status Report under the
U.S.-Japan Enhanced Initiative on Deregulation and Competition
Policy. Among the measures announced in the housing/wood products
area was an agreement by Japan to review its implementation of
performance-based building codes to address U.S. concerns
regarding the basis and application of certain performance
criteria and testing methodologies. Japan also announced several
steps it will take to stimulate the sales of existing homes,
including working with the private sector to create a standard
appraisal system to reflect the value of maintenance and
renovation, and removing or significantly limiting key financial
disincentives associated with the purchase of existing homes.