Changes to B.C. lumber regulation to drive local manufacturing, job growth
December 5, 2023 By Government of British Columbia
Amendments to B.C.’s lumber regulations will open the door for more wood products to be manufactured in the province, strengthening the forestry sector and creating more family-supporting jobs.
Changes to the Manufactured Forest Products Regulation are being introduced in the Interior of B.C. to expand manufacturing requirements for the export of cedar and cypress lumber. The changes are set to come into effect on Feb. 1, 2024, and will require mills in the Interior to fully manufacture cedar and cypress wood that has been harvested.
Examples of manufactured wood products include veneer, panel products, decking, flooring, moldings, shingles and siding. Wood products that do not meet specifications in the regulation, such as logs, must obtain an exemption from the manufacturing requirement and pay a fee-in-lieu of manufacture to the province.
Building on previous amendments introduced in 2020 for mills in the coastal region, the regulation updates support work already underway to get more value from every tree harvested by strengthening the wood manufacturing industry. In the coastal region, these export requirements have reduced the volume of minimally processed cedar leaving the province.
Recent changes to the Forest Act have given the Ministry of Finance the ability to audit the fee-in-lieu of manufacture for export logs and lumber. Companies that engage in log and lumber export may be chosen for audit at any time. This will improve compliance with Manufactured Forest Products Regulation requirements for permitting and annual reporting.
The Manufactured Forest Products Regulation, introduced in 2003, defines the criteria that products must meet to be considered a manufactured product under the Forest Act. Under the current regulation, minimally processed cedar and cypress lumber in the Interior may be exported without further manufacture. These changes will open up opportunities to make higher-value wood products in B.C.
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