Log truck on Highway 16. (Black Press media)

B.C. to begin increasing coastal log export charges

New fees based on harvest cost, cedar no longer exempt

The B.C. government’s new coastal log export policy starts to take effect at the end of July, imposing a new fee structure for logs intended to keep more of them in the province for milling.

The new fees are to be calculated on a case-by-case basis, depending on the harvest cost and value of the timber in each cutblock, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said Wednesday. The system applies first to new B.C. Timber Sales harvests on the coast, expanding to other coastal timber harvesting in December 2019.

Donaldson said the overall target is to reduce B.C. log exports by 15 per cent over the next two years.

“For whitewood species like hemlock, balsam and spruce, the fee could go from 10 per cent of the Vancouver log market value, which it is now, to a maximum of 50 per cent,” Donaldson said in an interview with Black Press. “That’s an example, but it really depends on the composition of the cutblock.”

Cabinet orders that expire July 31 set the fee in lieu of manufacturing at $1 per cubic metre for the North Coast, Northwest Interior and Nass areas and similar levels for Haida Gwaii and Mid Coast where timber is approved for export under the domestic log surplus test.

“It’s incumbent on us to try to drive more logs to domestic manufacturing,” Donaldson said. “The fee in lieu is a tool to do that, because it tries to address the price difference between what domestic logs are getting on the market and export logs.”

RELATED: B.C. loggers brace for changes in log export policy

RELATED: Export laws threaten Northwest industry, loggers say

The changes remove an export exemption for western red cedar, a sought-after commodity that commands high prices in Japan and other overseas markets. 

Under the new system, cedar logs could only be exported for a cultural use, such as a totem pole or a Japanese or Korean temple.

The current cabinet orders provide blanket log export exemptions put in place earlier to allow logging to carry on in areas where there are no sawmills to ship to. The exemptions are 35 per cent of tenure for the Mid Coast and Haida Gwaii, 20 per cent for North Coast and Northwest Interior and 100 per cent for the Nass timber supply area.

Donaldson said he had reports that some producers were offering logs for sale via the domestic log surplus test, and if they didn’t get the price they wanted, they would then use the exemption to export them. The new system won’t allow that, he said.

The new system is expected to help operations such as Skeena Sawmills in Terrace get enough log supply to operate at full output.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Chilliwack Terry Fox Run in the rain

Wet weather didn’t dampen spirits or enthusiasm for the annual cancer fundraiser

Chilliwack’s Belle Voci brings three-day a cappella festival to Fraser Valley

Singers will learn from two of Lower Mainland’s best music leaders at Belle Voci A Cappella Festival

Man charged with stealing Chief Dan George sculpture from Abbotsford school

Piece turned up in Mission pawn shop after Chilliwack artist noticed it missing this summer

New real-time location technology coming soon to Fraser Valley buses

Waiting riders will be able to see location of their bus using their phones

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from Sept. 16 to 22

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Guilty plea in Lower Mainland break-and-enter spree

Gordon Vincent Gladstone, 42, was charged with 12 counts relating to a dozen incidents in late 2018

Vancouver police officer hit with bear spray mid-arrest

Officer had been trying to arrest a woman wanted province-wide

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Most Read