Steps to exporting timber and wood products
Before you export wood or wood products (including exotic or indigenous wood) you may need to consider phytosanitary, legal and certification requirements. We've created a step-by-step process so you can see what's involved.
Follow the steps
Step 1: What you need to know
An overview of exporting wood and wood products from start to finish.
Types of wood included in this export process
Wood for export includes unprocessed logs or wood in various stages of processing. You can read the full descriptions with examples of wood types in the list of Forestry Commodity Classes on the Importing Countries Phytosanitary Requirements (ICPR) listing page.
If you are using packaging made from wood in your consignment, you also need to check its requirements.
To export wood successfully you need to know about:
- the forestry ICPRs for your destination country
- having your product inspected
- arranging for treatments
- meeting wood packaging requirements
- having your products certified
- relevant fees and charges.
- Refer to the New Zealand Customs Service website for more information about export clearance procedures
Using indigenous wood?
Legal restrictions are imposed when exporting indigenous wood or wood products. You will need to meet legislative requirements and regulations to export, including sustainable harvesting and clearfelling regulations when exporting products made from indigenous (native) wood.
Read about your legal obligations in the:
Require an exporter information statement?
If your destination market requests documentation on the legality of your product, you may wish to request an exporter information statement from MPI.
Step 2: What you need to do
The tasks you need to complete.
Comply with regulations if you have used indigenous wood
If you're exporting products containing indigenous (native) wood, you need to make sure that you or your suppliers have complied with sustainable forestry management regulations. The regulations cover where the wood was sourced and how it was harvested.
Check market requirements
Each country has different phytosanitary requirements, depending on the type of wood product. For some countries, you can find out the requirements by reading the relevant Importing Countries Phytosanitary Requirements (ICPR).
If your country has an ICPR, you'll need to comply with the requirements.
For countries that don't have an ICPR, you may need an import permit. Ask the importing agent in your destination country about the criteria and getting a permit.
Sometimes a phytosanitary certificate isn't needed
If your wood and your wood packaging aren't made from native wood, and your destination market doesn't have any phytosanitary requirements, you can export your goods without any MPI certification. Ask the importer or importing agent in your destination country to confirm their government's requirements.
Request an exporter information statement (optional)
Some overseas markets have introduced domestic laws to reduce the risk of importing illegally logged timber.
You may be requested by your import agent or destination market to provide evidence (due diligence) that your forest products were not illegally logged.
You can apply to MPI for an exporter information statement which can assist with meeting due diligence requirements in your export market.
To apply for a statement, download and return a request form:
- Request an exporter information statement [PDF, 327 KB]
- Request an exporter information statement [DOC, 160 KB]
If you have been issued an exporter information statement in the preceding calendar year, or if the name of your company on the current statement has changed, you can ask for a renewal or a re-issue.
- Request a renewal or re-issue of exporter information statement [PDF, 319 KB]
- Request a renewal or re-issue of exporter information statement [DOC, 154 KB]
Why illegal logging is a global problem?
Illegal logging is a significant problem in some countries. It can degrade forest environments, reduce biodiversity, undermine government regimes and revenues, contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and deprive local communities of opportunities to improve their quality of life.
In response, some markets including the European Union and Australia, have introduced domestic laws to reduce the risk of importing illegally logged timber.
Not sure what to do?
If you're unsure whether you need a phytosanitary certificate, contact an MPI-authorised Independent Verification Agency (IVA) for help.
Step 3: Getting your export documentation
How you know you've met MPI requirements.
Getting a phytosanitary certificate
Once you have requested a certificate and MPI is satisfied that your consignment meets the importing country's phytosanitary requirements, MPI can issue a phytosanitary certificate through ePhyto.
You may need to include the certificate in the documents you give to your freight or shipping company.
When to alert your IVA
As an exporter, you're responsible for telling your IVA (independent verification agency) if your wood for export:
- is refused entry by a foreign government
- fails to meet the Importing Countries Forestry Phytosanitary Requirements (ICPRs)
- doesn't have the required export documents – for example, if they have been removed or lost.
Who to contact
For queries about getting your export wood or wood product ready for export, contact your IVA.
If you have other questions, email the plant exports team at email@example.com.