Wood Import Trade

The Wood Import Trade group brings together wood importers who are responsible for the procurement and import of raw or semi-finished wood from around the world. Many of these companies also process wood. They are often suppliers to woodworking and furniture manufacturers, the construction industry, and the specialised wood trade.

05 HOUTINV INTERHOLCOL Deck 140x21 Kanda Wood X clear base 24 Interholco Belgium - Hermpac
By using wood from sustainably managed forests, we are contributing to its preservation.

Impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict on the timber market

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has greatly reshaped the timber market. The import of wood and wooden products from Russia, Belarus and the occupied territories in Ukraine is no longer possible. Some sanction packages were developed by the European Union, on the one hand. But on the other, the EUTR expert group ruled that proper due diligence can no longer be developed for these countries and territories. Fedustria is therefore calling upon its members to respect this ban and to distance themselves from practices such as importing through third countries.

The FSC and PEFC certification systems have also ceased operation in these areas. Consequently, the effects of this conflict in the timber market will be felt for a long time to come.

03 HOUTINVOER v HO BOOT 1 van Hoorebeke Timber

An increasingly strict international framework

In 2022, Europe worked on a new regulatory framework to combat global deforestation: the EU Deforestation Initiative. These new regulations will cover not only timber and wood products, but also other commodities such as palm oil, beef, coffee, cocoa, soy and rubber, as well as derivatives. With this initiative, Europe is aiming to ensure that when consumers buy any of the commodities or products listed above, they are not contributing to deforestation or forest degradation. In so doing, Europe is aiming to protect forests worldwide. Either way, this new initiative will result in an expansion of existing due diligence obligations for all timber companies.

In late November 2022, the CITES conference took place in Panama, where a number of wood species very popular for the Belgian market were added to Appendix II of CITES. What this means is that trade in those species is still permitted, albeit subject to the necessary red tape. These are Padouk, Afzelia and Khaya woods (each with a transition period of only three months), as well as Ipé and Cumaru (transition period of two years).

In short, these stricter frameworks remain the challenge for the coming years. Fedustria is continuing to stress the importance of sustainable forest management in this. After all, by working with wood from sustainably managed forests, we are contributing to their protection.

International meetings

From 1 to 3 June 2022, the biennial wood fair 'Le Carrefour du Bois' took place in Nantes. On 1 June, Fedustria organised a networking event for all the Belgian exhibitors. Other international meetings in 2022 included the annual International Softwood Conference (mid-October 2022 in Copenhagen) and the biennial International Hardwood Conference (late October 2022 in Lyon).

Key figures
Number of companies 38
Number of employees 600
Turnover (in million EUR) 700

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