Exporting wood products to Korea

When sending logs, sawn timber, plywood or wood pellets to South Korea (Republic of Korea), you must submit documents that demonstrate the wood products were legally harvested. From 1 October 2019, no exceptions will be allowed.

Who is affected?

All exporters of these wood products to South Korea:

  • wood fuel pellets (4401.31)
  • logs (4403)
  • sawn timber, including preservative treated timber, fire retardant treated timber and laminated timber (4407)
  • plywood (4412).

Documents Korea will accept

Certificates that meet the new Korean requirements are those issued by the:

  • FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)
  • PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification).

If you don't have FSC or PEFC certification, you'll need to meet the requirements detailed below.

The new requirements – what to do differently

Exporters

  • Log exporters need to request levy statements from all the forest or commodity owners who supply logs to them for Korea.
  • Wood products exporters (like sawn timber or panels) will need to provide their Korean importer with levy statements for each sales order or lot, from the forest owners who supplied the wood in that lot.

Forest owners or managers

  • Forest owners or managers may be requested to provide a levy statement by the exporter of their wood products.
  • Forest owners/managers who are invoiced the Harvested Wood Material Commodity Levy by Levy Systems are eligible to request a levy statement. Each Statement costs $65.00 plus GST, and is valid for 12 months.

Request a statement – Levy Systems Limited

How do sawmills know which levy statements to provide?

  • By default, the statements for all of the log suppliers for a mill should be provided.
  • The statements provided should be based on what is appropriate for each sawmill considering their rate of throughput and the turnover of their log suppliers.
  • If a mill processes in batches, or can otherwise trace log inputs to the final product delivered to Korea, then the only statements for the batch of the sales order/lot need to be provided.
  • When any new log suppliers start, their statements should then be included with the sales documentation.

What about forestry products from native forests?

No new steps are required. Exporters will need to provide their Notice of Intention to Export Indigenous Timber form, or a Notice of Intention to Export Swamp Kauri form.

Other questions and answers

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Who can get a levy statement?

Due to confidentiality requirements of information relating to the harvested wood commodity levy, forest or commodity owners can only request their own levy statements.

How do I get a levy statement?

Forest and commodity owners can request a levy statement from Levy Systems Ltd.

Requestors will be verified, and following confirmation of payment of the $65 fee, the statement will be emailed to you.

Statements are valid for 12 months. New statements can be requested if required, such as when the forest owner/supplier is delivering logs to new customers.

The levy statement will include the codes for the forest owner or supplier of harvested wood, and its destination.

Our importer or a Korean official wants to verify the levy statement. What do I do?

There are several ways which can help verify statements:

  • Levy statements have unique identifiers. Check that the identifier matches your document, and that it has not been altered.
  • Log exporters can provide a summary of a log list, which shows the supplying organisations (forest owners or forest management organisations) for the customer lot.
  • For exporters, the list of destinations provided on the levy statement demonstrates that the specified forest/commodity owner delivers logs to that organisation.

Korean officials can verify statements by emailing operations@levysystems.co.nz

NZFOA (NZ Forest Owners' Association), Forest Growers Levy Trust, and MPI cannot assist as they do not have access to the levy system.

What about the privacy of my information that the Forest Growers Levy Trust holds?

The privacy of commodity owner information will be protected. Levy statements will only be made available to the commodity owners, at their own request.

No sensitive information (such as quantities) is included on the levy statement.

Are there any requirements I will need to comply with to get the levy statement?

No. If you are already being invoiced by Levy Systems Ltd for the harvested wood material levy, you can request a levy statement.

Levy statements cost $65. Payment of the fee must be made up front and directly to Levy Systems Ltd, who are providing the service.

Can I use the Levy Statement to demonstrate legality in other countries?

Yes, if it is accepted. At this point, the levy statement has only been negotiated for use for the specified wood products being exported to Korea.

Provided the levy statements work satisfactorily for Korea, MPI will negotiate their use for other markets such as Japan. This process has not yet started.

How does this statement demonstrate the legality of the wood products?

The Commodity Levies (Harvested Wood Material) Order 2013 is a mandatory requirement for all harvested wood material delivered to ports or wood processing sites in New Zealand.

The levy statement says that the forest/commodity owner is subject to that levy, and therefore a regulated supplier of harvested wood material in New Zealand.

The levy statement includes a list of all the destinations that the forest/commodity owner sends their logs to. This provides traceability in the supply chain to the exporter or mill. 

My logs have not been approved for release by Korea Customs. What do I do?

Call the MPI enquiries number (0800 00 83 33) stating your enquiry is urgent.

For phytosanitary certification issues, email plantexports@mpi.govt.nz

Will I have to apply for a new levy statement every time I export?

No. Statements are valid for 1 year from 1 October to 30 September. A copy of the levy statement will meet the Korean requirements. The levy statement will need to be renewed yearly.

Who to contact

If you have further questions:

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