Dompok: M'sian exporters need to know emerging trend for legal timber

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: With the rising demand in major markets for legal timber, Malaysian timber products exporters have to be mindful of this development and take appropriate steps to comply with new rules, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.

He said the emerging trend in the developed markets was for more discerning and environment conscious timber products made from legally harvested timber.

For example, the European Union, United States and Australia have either put in place legislation to compel trade in legal timber or they are in the midst of formulating such regulations.

The government, he said, would continue to inform the local timber industry regularly on the latest development in timber trade rules to ensure that the local timber-based business community was not disadvantaged.

Dompok made these remarks at the Malaysian Timber Industry Forum Association (TIF)’s first anniversary dinner here recently.

His speech was delivered, on his behalf, by his deputy Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin.

Six timber industry-related organisations had come together to form TIF, the umbrella body that represents and promotes the interest of timber industries within peninsular Malaysia at the national, regional and international levels.

TIF will also seek to promote, support or oppose legislation affecting the timber industries in Peninsular Malaysia at the state or federal government levels, liaise with any official (government or otherwise) department, organisation or person for the association’s benefit, and provide a forum for consultation, cooperation and coordination among members.

The founding members of TIF are the Association of Malaysian Bumiputera Timber & Furniture Entrepreneurs, Malaysian Furniture Industry Council, Malaysian Wood Industries Association, Malaysian Panel-Products Manufacturers’ Association, Malaysian Wood Moulding and Joinery Council and the Timber Exporters’ Association of Malaysia.

TIF is headed by Datuk Sheikh Othman Rahman with George Tan as Secretary General.

A TIF spokesman said the idea to form TIF was mooted in 1999 by Tunku Osman Ahmad, then Chairman of the Malaysian Timber Council and also President of Malaysian Wood Industries Association, to have regular meetings informally among various sectors of the timber industry in Peninsular Malaysia to discuss and overcome issues faced by them.

Dompok also said Malaysia was now actively engaged with the EU towards finalising a Voluntary Partnership Agreement under the Malaysia-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade.

“This is in anticipation of the implementation of the due diligence process for timber products imported into the EU beginning March 1, 2013,” he said.

In the case of Australia, its government is in the midst of enacting the Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill 2011 aimed at combating trade in illegal timber.

Malaysia had made two submissions, and the latest one was to the Trade Sub-Committee of the Australian Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade earlier this month.

Dompok said Malaysia conveyed its concerns over the implication of the bill and provided inputs to Australian members of parliament and senators to ensure that they were fully informed of Malaysia’s concerns and were mindful of the various potential consequences which may arise with the implementation of the bill.

He said the government wanted to ensure that the new regulation in Australia would be fair and pragmatic, and did not over-burden timber product exporters, and also did not incur additional cost.

Source: New Sabah Times Online
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  1. Hope that the new Timber rules will be complied by all Timber exporters.

  2. The government must make sure that the Australia regulation are pragmatic and fair so not to overburden the exporters in timber sector.

  3. Don't let illegal timber continue to operate.

  4. when talk about timber, I'm not interested to know about the profit or impact from global market to the local timber companies.. but I'm really care about the impact caused by timber companies to our valuable forests..