India timber associations protest against the use of log fumigation regulations

Timber associations across India have petitioned to the government regarding the recent plant quarantine regulations that have become a major problem for Indian importers.

The current regulation stipulates that logs need to be fumigated with methyl bromide prior to export from the country of origin, but international bodies such as the International Plant Protection Convention, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Montreal Protocol have classified methyl bromide as hazardous for health.

The petition noted that as many countries prohibit the use of this chemical, the associations are unable to fulfill the requirement of Indian plant quarantine regulations and that alternative and internationally-accepted treatments must be adopted.

India imports a huge quantity of logs to meet the domestic requirements and until recently was importing from Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and more.  But with the reduced or banned log exports, India has relied heavily on log imports from the EU, the U.S., Latin America and Africa, where the use of methyl bromide is restricted.

Source: ITTO