EU enforces new timber regulations, furniture industry exports face crisis

Taking Zhanjiang area in Guangdong as an example, in 2012, a total of 4,957 wood products such as wood furniture exported from Zhanjiang area, with a value of 330 million US dollars, increased by 9.2% and 26.9% respectively over the same period of last year. The value of exports exceeded US$300 million for the first time. Among them, exports to the EU accounted for 19.2% of the total exports of Zhanjiang wood products. In January of this year, the value of furniture exports in Zhanjiang reached US$87.682 million, a surge of 1.2 times year-on-year. After that, it fluctuated and fell. The value of exports in April was only 37.361 million US dollars. The reason why Zhanjiang furniture export did not continue the good momentum in January, one of the important reasons is that since March 3 this year, the EU has imposed new timber regulations, and the furniture raw materials exported to it must obtain the FSC “identity card” to further improve The threshold for the export of wood products in China.

Western countries have always regarded China as a high-risk country for illegal logging. The enforcement of the EU's "Wood and Wood Products Regulations and New Environmental Design Directives" has weakened the competitiveness of China's wood furniture and other wood products exported to the European market to a certain extent, and will also bring significant impact to China's wood furniture and other wood products industries. Impact, its negative impact mainly has the following four aspects:

First, it is more difficult for enterprises to obtain FSC certification. From a global perspective, at present, only 10% of the world's certified wood is available. As far as China is concerned, as China's forest certification has just started, less than 1% of the certified wood is on the market. The new regulations require that wood products imported into the EU market must be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, but the standards of the institution do not recognize each other's standards, which brings a lot of legality certification or certification. The difficulty of not being able to provide sufficient legality to prove that wood and wood products will be hindered by the EU.

Second, the cost of exporting wood products has increased significantly. First, companies must invest a lot of money and manpower to carry out technological transformations to improve environmental quality. Second, the cost of raw material transportation will increase. Due to the small number of local forest farms certified by FSC Forest Supply, the cost of purchasing raw materials in different places will be greatly increased when EU customers request it. Again, the certification fee will increase. The company will increase the relevant inspection, testing, certification and public relations procedures and other related costs. The enterprise needs to pass the FSC certification and the certification fee is about 30,000 yuan. After that, it needs annual review every year. The annual audit fee is about 15,000 yuan. After the implementation of FSC forest certification, the enterprise must pay for the certification of the forest management unit that purchases the raw materials. cost. In addition, the cost of imported raw materials will increase, and the cost of certified imported timber is about 10% higher than that of ordinary imported wood. The above situation undoubtedly increases the cost, which is a big challenge for enterprises.

Third, the threshold for exporting European wood products has been greatly improved. Some companies in China need to import logs and timber products from Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Many of these countries have illegal logging problems. Therefore, European “identity card” requirements for logs may be Some furniture companies will miss orders. Different countries have different management regulations, it is difficult to prove whether the source of timber is legal, and some sources of imported timber are beyond verification. This will have a greater impact on China's wood products export enterprises, especially small and medium-sized wood products export enterprises, and even May force them to withdraw from the European market.

Fourth, the export clearance of wood products has been greatly affected. After the implementation of the new EU directives, the customs of European countries may conduct more strict inspections of imported wood products during law enforcement. For example, the “due diligence” audit content has been added to the original complicated customs clearance process, which will inevitably increase the export of wood products. The customs clearance cost of production enterprises is not conducive to convenient customs clearance. At the same time, it also greatly enhances the discretionary power of EU port authorities on China's export of European wood products, leaving a broad imagination for its trade restrictions.

Although the new directive will have a major negative impact on China's export of European wood furniture industry in the short term, in the long run, it is a challenge and an opportunity. The new regulations will be beneficial to the regulation of China's wood furniture export market and the improvement of product quality. It not only benefits the future development of China's wood furniture industry, but also effectively regulates the market, further eliminates backward and non-standard SMEs, promotes the transformation and upgrading of the wood furniture industry, and enhances the quality, grade and international competitiveness of China's wood furniture industry's export products. .

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