Trade with wood and wood products
Trade with wood entails considerable risk that new plant pests, which may negatively affect our forests, will be spread. When exporting, we also need to protect other countries from pests present in Sweden. For this reason, there are regulations specifying protective measures against pests which you need to know when trading with other countries. There are also species of trees, which are endangered and protected by trade regulations, and regulations to prevent illegal logging.
Imports of wood and wood products from a country outside the EU
When you import wood and wood products, there is a risk that the import carries quarantine pests which may spread to trees in Swedish forests and other environments. These are insects, nematodes and other pests which are not present in the EU or only to a limited extent and which, if spread, may have unacceptable social, environmental or economic consequences. In Sweden, EU import regulations apply.
Phytosanitary certificates state that the wood is free from quarantine pests
Quarantine pests are present in some countries, and they can cause significant damage to different species of trees. For that reason, the regulations vary depending on the type of wood and where it originates from. If you are importing wood and wood products, where there is a risk that quarantine pests are brought along, there must be a phytosanitary certificate for the consignment. The phytosanitary certificate states that the products meet the requirements of the recipient country as relates to pest freedom.
Phytosanitary certificates are mainly required for relatively unprocessed timber, as well as wood chips, waste and firewood. The regulations vary depending on where the wood originates from. A phytosanitary certificate is nearly always required for timber from coniferous trees. The rules for deciduous trees apply only to certain types of trees from certain origin countries.
Prohibition against importing bark from certain parts of the world
Bark from certain tree species entails such a considerable risk that imports from certain parts of the world are prohibited altogether.
Specific conditions on treatment
In certain cases, you may only import wood if it has been treated in a particular way, such that any pests have been destroyed. There are usually several options for treatment. Sometimes, an alternative option is permissible, if the wood is coming from pest free areas if the exporting country can guarantee this is the case.
If there are specific conditions, there shall be an additional declaration to the phytosanitary certificate. The plant protection organisation in the exporting country is responsible for issuing the additional declaration. When importing, we advise that you verify that the additional declaration has been provided, in order to avoid problems at the EU import check.
This applies to dunnage accompanying wood at import
When importing wood, the consignment may also include dunnage which is used to wedge or support the load. If the dunnage is of the same type and quality as the load itself, it may be covered by the phytosanitary certificate, which applies to the wood in the load. Alternatively, there may not be a phytosanitary certificate if that is not required for the wood in the load. However, if the dunnage is of another type or quality than the wood in the load, it is instead covered by the rules for wood packaging material.
Rules to prevent illegal logging
If you import wood or wood products to the EU, you must follow the rules in the EU Timber Regulation.
FLEGT licence for imports of timber from EU partner countries
To handle the problem of illegal logging, the EU has signed Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with a number of countries outside the EU that export timber and wood products to the EU.
Today, the licensing system applies only to imports of timber and wood products from Indonesia. In the long term, FLEGT licences will be required when importing from any country with which the EU has signed VPAs.
Export of wood and wood products to countries outside the EU
Phytosanitary certificates may be required for exports to countries outside the EU
If you are exporting to a country outside the EU, you need to find out what the rules are in the recipient country. Some countries require a phytosanitary certificate for the products. You can apply for a phytosanitary certificate from the Swedish Board of Agriculture.
The plant protection organisation in the recipient country can provide information about the import requirements that apply.
If you have permission from the Swedish Board of Agriculture to label with the KD 56°C/30 min mark, this will make it easier to receive a phytosanitary certificate for the export of sawn wood.
Brexit affects the export of wood and wood products
The United Kingdom has left the EU. Trade with wood and wood products is affected by Brexit, as different rules apply for trade with countries outside the EU.
The United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) requires phytosanitary certificates for high-risk plants when they are exported from Sweden. Some types of wood and bark thereof are listed as high‑risk plants. This does not apply, however, to bark‑free coniferous wood.
We refer any questions about the import of wood, wood products and bark to the United Kingdom to the British authorities.
Plant passports are required to move certain tree species within the EU
There is generally free movement within the EU for wood, bark and other wood products. In certain cases, however, plant passports are required to verify that the product is free from pests:
- Wood entirely or partly from the genus walnut trees (Juglans), the genus planes and sycamores (Platanus) and the genus wingnuts (Pterocarya) shall have plant passports within the entire EU.
- Certain tree species from areas where the longhorn beetles Anoploplora glabripennis and Aromia bungii are present shall have plant passports when moved within the EU.
- Sweden is a so‑called protected zone for chestnut blight, for which reason wood of Castanea, excluding bark‑free wood, must have plant passports if it is to be brought to Sweden or other protected zones within the EU.
- The pinewood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) is a seriously harmful organism on conifers. It is found in Portugal and parts of Spain. For that reason, wood and bark from Portugal and certain parts of Spain must have a plant passport.
Selling wood to be used in the manufacture of wood packaging material
Selling within the EU
If you sell wood which is treated and intended for the production of wood packaging material according to the ISPM 15 standard within the EU, you need to certify that the treatment fulfils the requirements in the standard and that your company has the permission to label with the ISPM 15‑mark. The buyer intending to produce wood packaging materials labelled with the ISPM 15‑mark must be able to trace the wood back to the company which treated it. These regulations are now common to the entire EU.
The delivery note, invoice or other documentation accompanying the purchased wood package shall state the following information:
- the identity of the wood package, e.g. package number
- how the wood has been treated, i.e. one of the methods approved according to annex 1 of the ISPM 15 standard
- your registration number at the Swedish Board of Agriculture, showing that the place of production is included in our national system and therefore can be traced.
Selling to countries outside the EU
If you sell wood which is treated and intended for the manufacture of wood packaging material according to the ISPM 15 standard to a country outside the EU, you need to certify that the treatment meets the requirements in the standard. The buyer may request that you provide documentation required by the legislation of the receiving country.
Endangered tree species
In addition to plant health rules, there are regulations on protection of species, known as CITES rules, which apply to certain types of wood.
Contact us if you have questions
If you have any questions, you are welcome to send us an e-mail.
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Revision date: 2023-03-31