Stricter requirements imposed on timber exports to Egypt and Malaysia

November 6/2019

Malaysia and Egypt have imposed stricter requirements on timber exports as of 2018 and October 2019, respectively. This means that all shipments of timber from Finland must be inspected separately.

Import permits to Egypt and Malaysia compliant with the new requirements call for physical inspection of each shipment.

Egypt now permits import only to a “shipment found free from any live quarantine pests or diseases in the Egyptian ministerial decree...”

In Malaysia, the new requirement states as follows: “Consignment must be inspected and tested according to appropriate official procedures and are considered to be free from soil, live pests...”

This means that yearly inspection conducted at a sawmill is no longer sufficient when exporting to these countries. The product must also meet the requirements imposed by the country of export, and it is the exporter’s duty to ensure compliance with the requirements. The requirements include a ban on quarantined species.

Advance declarations to the Finnish Food Authority only by online form

The procedure for submitting advance declarations of timber exports to Egypt and Malaysia has been updated and from now on, all advance declarations for timber exports to these countries must be made by online form in order to ensure smooth customer service.

The Finnish Food Authority will no longer accept advance declarations sent by email. Only export permits related to the advance declaration may still be sent by email.

As before, the actual export declaration must be submitted electronically in the phytosanitary certificate service.

What changes for exporters?

Timber exporters may need to upgrade their operating processes in order to allow for shipment-specific inspections.

The Finnish Food Authority will forward the details of the shipment marked for inspection to the plant inspector of the source region (ELY region), who in turn contacts the exporter to arrange for carrying out the inspection once 70% of the shipment is ready at the port of export. If the timber is shipped in containers, the inspection is carried out at the saw mill.

The import permit must be submitted by email to the Finnish Food Authority before the phytosanitary certificate is drawn up, as Egypt and Malaysia now require that the import permit number is stated on the certificate.

Further information:  


Further information

Senior Inspector Liisa Vihervuori, Finnish Food Authority, Plant Health
Tel. +358 40 057 1060