Timber trade associations in two leading EU importing countries have recently been pushing forward plywood quality, performance and legality initiatives.
In the UK, the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has undertaken a Plywood Review over the last 18 months.
This is in response to concerns over import of products, mainly from China, that the TTF claims do not meet key EU/UK legal compliance legislation.
That included products classified as high risk under the EUTR not being adequately risk mitigated through tropical veneer species testing. The initiative was also in response to insufficient glue-bond testing being undertaken, notably in EN.314 Class 2 product, to be able to draw up a Declaration of Performance (DoP).
The TTF has liaised with Chinese trade associations on these issues and produced recommendations for members.
These include; for EUTR compliance, to implement regular plywood species testing from high-risk suppliers; to provide clear species marking on packs; and to ensure suppliers operate documented Factory Production Control (FPC) in compliance with the EU Construction Products Regulation.
The TTF said the review is ongoing and will be subject to more discussion and actions in coming weeks.
In Germany, GD Holz has been continuing to develop its Plywood Quality Initiative (Initiative Qualitäts Sperrholz /IQS). With five member importers, and aims to include more, the focus is on ‘ensuring correct description of all product characteristics and properties’.
The companies are obliged to ensure suppliers meet national product codes and to include all relevant product technical details and descriptions with deliveries.
Recently GD Holz has issued a leaflet to inform members’ customers what to expect from an IQS supplier and a brochure detailing softwood and hardwood plywood production codes of Brazil (ABNT), Russia (GOST), Finland (SFS) and the EU (DIN-EN).
Currently IQS is concentrated on technical issues, but it intends eventually to add legality and sustainability to its remit.