Importing Timber and Wood Related Products
Why importers and buyers must meet DAFF Biosecurity import conditions
Australia enjoys freedom from many of the world’s most damaging pests and diseases. There are many exotic pests and insects that could hitch a ride to Australia in timber, wooden related products, packaging and on cargo containers. If these pests establish in Australia they could have a detrimental impact on our agriculture and forestry industries, natural environment, food security and economy.
Protecting Australia’s biosecurity is a shared responsibility between governments, industry and the community. As a buyer and importer you are responsible for making sure that all imported goods meet Australia’s import conditions, including being free from exotic insects and pests.
Everyone in the supply and retail chain has a role in recognising and reporting any signs of pest activity in imported timber and wooden related products, including furniture.
To avoid delays and additional costs to your business, make sure your overseas buyers, suppliers and manufacturers know what the import and biosecurity requirements are before you purchase and import your products.
What is a biosecurity risk?
Some of the more damaging pests that threaten our biosecurity include Asian Longhorn Beetle, Burnt Pine Longicorn Beetle, Japanese Pine Sawyer Beetle, Asian Gypsy Moth, termites, auger beetle, powder post beetles and wood wasps.
Many of these exotic pests arrive in timber and wooden related products in the egg or larvae stage and their presence may not be obvious. Pests sometimes go unnoticed for many years, until frass (sawdust-like substance) and holes appear.
How to address biosecurity risk of timber and wooden related products pre-import?
All importers need to be aware and comply with DAFF Biosecurity import conditions. Import conditions are determined by scientific evidence, rigorous analysis and intelligence and are vital to keeping unwanted pests and diseases out of Australia.
There are two steps to the biosecurity process for importing timber and timber related products.
- Check the list of timber and wooden related products to identify what category your product sits under.
- Check the Import Conditions Database (ICON) based on the category you identified in step 1.
Biosecurity risk can be addressed pre-border and at the border through the use of approved treatments (depending on the import requirements). These treatments can include fumigation, gamma irradiation, heat, boiling and permanent preservative. In some cases biosecurity risk can also be address through a thorough inspection by a DAFF Biosecurity Officer at the border.
How to address biosecurity risk of timber and wooden related products post-import?
It is important that goods in storage are regularly checked for insects or pest activity even after passing quarantine it can take time for infestation to appear.
Things to look for include:
- Insect or larvae activity
- Sudden appearance of holes
- Dust or sawdust (frass) which keeps returning
If you suspect anything unusual in timber and wooden related products, contact DAFF Biosecurity immediately on 1800 020 504 or email: Quarantine Reports.
Any enquiries relating to timber and wooden related articles can be directed to the Timber and Timber Products National Coordination Centre:
Phone: + 61 3 8318 6929
Email: Timber Imports
15 Aug 2012