Timber regulations tightened, Thailand targets Siamese rosewood exports

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Commerce Ministry of Thailand recently announced two new regulations targeting the timber trade. Beginning on July 17, traders will be required to hold a certificate of import to import timber, processed wood, and wooden artefacts. Additionally, starting August 16, the export of Siamese rosewood (phayung) will be prohibited, Bangkok Post reports.

The director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, Ronnarong Phoolpipat, emphasised that the new timber regulations aim to bring the current trade situation in line with international standards. According to the new timber regulations, importing timber logs through customs checkpoints in the Tak, Kanchanaburi, and Mae Hong Son provinces will be halted. Additionally, processed wood imports via Mae Hong Son checkpoints and imports of phayung logs, processed phayung, and artefacts made from phayung originating from Cambodia and Laos will be prohibited.

Despite these restrictions, the import of timber logs, processed wood, and wooden artefacts that do not fall under the prohibited categories will still be allowed, as long as the traders possess a certificate of origin or evidence of export permission. Ronnarong stated that the export of phayung logs, processed phayung wood, balled, and burlapped phayung trees, as well as artefacts made from phayung wood, will be prohibited. The export of timber logs and processed wood not on the prohibited list will require authorisation as per the new timber regulations.

Furthermore, wooden artefacts and charcoal intended for export must be accompanied by certification letters for trading or export purposes, in line with forestry laws. However, Ronnarong clarified that rubberwood exports would not be subjected to these regulations.

Highlighting the process of issuing export permits, Ronnarong revealed that the department is developing ministerial regulations to establish the process’s criteria, procedures, and conditions. The Royal Forest Department will be appointed as the delegated authority to issue these permits under the new timber regulations, ensuring streamlined communication between the public and government bodies.

According to Commerce Ministry data, Thailand’s wood and wood product exports totalled 104 billion baht last year. During the first four months of this year, the export value reached 36.4 billion baht, representing a 5.31% increase compared to the same period last year.

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Alex Morgan

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