Timber from Russia & Belarus declared ‘conflict timber’

Timber from Russia & Belarus declared ‘conflict timber’

Both the world’s leading timber-certifying schemes – PEFC and FSC – have just withdrawn certification from timber originating from Russia or Belarus. Timber from these two countries may not be used in any PEFC or FSC-certified products.

We at Gilray Plant want to reassure our customers that all the timber used in the production of our scaffold boards is sourced from EU countries and our certification remains in place.

However, the illegal and aggressive actions of Russia will have an effect on the timber industry: both large timber-producing countries, Ukraine and Russia exported a combined figure of 5.5 million cubic metres of softwood lumber to Europe in 2021.

Europe received 1.114 million cubic metres of Ukrainian softwood lumber, which was sold to twenty-five European countries, according to UKRSTAT. This figure corresponds to a year-on-year increase of 1.7% from 2020.

Russia, meanwhile, exported 4.5 million cubic metres to Europe, which is one of the main markets for Russian softwood lumber. This market itself grew the Russian export by almost 20% compared to the figures a year earlier in 2020, according to Russian Customs Authorities.

The withdrawal of PEFC and FSC certification from Russian and Belarus lumber, together with UK and EU government sanctions against those countries will inevitably impact on the supply of timber, as will the war in Ukraine. Timber prices on the back of this will almost certainly rise and the availability of wood will become harder to source for UK companies.

But we at Gilray Plant feel that this is a minor price to pay, given that brave Ukrainians are fighting for their very right to exist as a sovereign nation.