China Eases Ban On Virginia Logs
Governor Bob McDonnell announced that following Virginia’s year-long efforts, and hosting of a Chinese technical delegation of plant pest officials, China has agreed to a six-month pilot project that will begin re-opening the Chinese market to Virginia’s hardwood and softwood log exporters. While technical details are still being finalized, Virginia logs will be allowed to enter China immediately via designated ports and with enhanced pest treatment and testing protocols under the terms of the pilot project.
In April 2011, China banned hardwood and softwood log exports from Virginia and South Carolina, citing pest interceptions. Following a mission to China, McDonnell invited technical experts from China to visit Virginia and observe how logs are harvested, inventoried and undergo treatment or testing to prevent the unintended transport of pest organisms. The McDonnell administration also worked closely with federal agencies involved in trade negotiations with the China.
Once a Chinese visit was established, the Virginia Dept. of Agricultural and Consumer Services put together a comprehensive program for the team of officials from China’s Inspection and Quarantine Bureau (CIQ) including site visits, which demonstrated the effectiveness of treatment, tracking and inspection protocols currently in place to guard against unwanted pests being transported in log shipments.
Last year the value of Virginia’s log exports into the global marketplace was nearly $57 million, down $10 million from 2010. Prior to the ban, Virginia was a major East Coast supplier of logs to China, the world’s largest log importer.