At a recent meeting, the National Panel Products Division of the UK Timber Trade Federation (TTF) unanimously agreed a requirement for third party species testing and third party product performance testing for all panels placed on the market from outside the EU.
This is driven by concern about technical performance, EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) conformance and sustainability.
According to the TTF “if a product which says it is fit for exterior use fails to perform because the raw materials are actually different from that on the paperwork, then reputational damage for the timber industry and its products is a real risk”.
UK importers have also been under intense pressure to demonstrate conformance to EUTR after the NMO, the UK’s enforcement agency, published a report in February 2015 revealing failures by several UK importers of Chinese plywood to meet regulatory requirements.
Specific concerns were raised over the lack of accurate information on species content in Chinese hardwood plywood.
According to a TTF statement “the TTF has decided enough is enough and that new measures are needed to ensure that products its members import tick all the right boxes. Such a requirement for TTF members can only help improve quality assurance for hardwood plywood imports and it also shows that the timber industry does what it says and is not afraid to hide from difficult issues”.