Timber exports to US to reach 300 tonnes

Myanmar is expected to export around 300 tonnes of timber to the USA by the end of this fiscal year, says Bar Bar Cho, joint secretary of the Myanmar Timber Merchants Association.

"By this fiscal year's end, a total of 25 containers holding 12 tonnes of timber each are expected to leave for the US. The US buys less Myanmar timber than European countries. But it pays good prices. It also stresses the timber quality. The timber exported must be good-sized and high quality. And we don’t need any documents for timber exports to the US. But there is an insurance system, according to the US Lacey Act [a conservation law that prohibits trade in wildlife, fish and plants that have been illegally sourced]," he said.

The United States recently granted a special one-year waiver for certain US companies to trade with Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE). Under the waiver, the timber trade is for US companies and other members of the International Wood Products Association, according to the MTE, a state enterprise in charge of the timber trade. The waiver took effect last July.

Timber exports to the US must be environmentally friendly and corruption-free.

Only 15 firms out of the country’s 1,500 private timber producers can export timber, according to official data.