Industries Ports/Trade

China lifts trade ban on Virginia hardwood log exports

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After a year-long pilot program, Virginia now can now ship logs to China.

Two years ago, China banned all log shipments from the Port of Virginia and Port of Charleston over concerns about invasive pests. After months of negotiations and research, China began a pilot program in June 2012 that allowed Virginia to export both sotftwood and hardwood logs.

Following that program, China decided to allow the export again of hardwood logs.

"This is good news because it reopens an important market for companies that export hardwood logs to China via The Port of Virginia," Rodney W. Oliver, interim executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said in a statement. "A lot of work went into this effort on both the federal and state levels; we believe it will reenergize this piece of export business."

The USDA – APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) and the Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services played critical roles in this effort, Oliver said.

Phytosanitary certificates issued by USDA-APHIS can be issued effective Sept. 15; APHIS recommends that the 24-hour duration fumigation schedule be maintained for hardwood species.

Interested exporters may contact Cary Hagen, vice president of cargo sales for Virginia International Terminals LLC, at 757-440-7200.

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