After holding off on changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial government announced new export rules for B.C. lumber on Sept. 16.
The changes to the Manufactured Forest Products Regulation (MFPR) introduce stricter requirements on the maximum dimensions of lumber that is considered a sawn-wood product. Currently, logs squared off to a maximum dimension of 0.2 square metres may be exported without further manufacture.
When the changes take effect on Sept. 30, the maximum dimension will shrink to 0.1 square metres. In the Coast area, any lumber made from western cedar or cypress will need to be fully manufactured in B.C. before it can be exported.
“These changes are intended to increase the amount of processing of wood products done within British Columbia, leading to more B.C. jobs, rather than having that processing done after export,” stated a provincial media release.
Lumber products that do not meet the requirements will need a provincial export permit, obtained by paying a fee. The changes were originally set to come into effect on July 1, but the province postponed them to allow “the forest industry to recover from the challenges associated with the pandemic and to better prepare for the resulting market impacts.”
Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News