Solid wood now certified as an engineered product by EWPAA
Solid wood producers have widely accepted a certification system that will give consumers the confidence that structural timber is a true and reliable engineered product.
The Plantation Timber Certification System is a voluntary certification program for MGP and F graded timber administered by the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia and accredited by JAS-ANZ. It is an ISO-type 5 product certification system that incorporates in-mill process control and batch verification, six-monthly audits of the QC system in the mill, independent third-party testing of the structural properties of product and market-place surveillance testing.
“This is the same level of scrutiny as other engineered wood products such as LVL, I-beams and plywood,” said Andy McNaught, EWPAA technical manager, who is directing the program.
“Uptake of the certification scheme has been excellent with seven of the 11 major mill sites in Australia now using it.”
Since the Australian Forest Products Association’s quality certification program was moved across to EWPAA – ending a long association with NCS International, one of Australia’s largest third-party certification bodies – AFPA believes the scheme has added value to its member mills. Membership of the Plantation Timber Certification Scheme entitles mills to have their AFS chain of custody certification and Australian wood packaging certification completed at no extra cost.
Audits for the three certification schemes are integrated to minimise disruption to mill staff and production. Also, members receive technical assistance on grading and other issues as part of the certification cost “This means EWPAA now provides technical and general input on behalf of the industry to standards development,” Andy McNaught said.
“The bottom line is that producers of solid structural timber can now be part of a rigorous JAS-ANZ accredited product certification scheme that gives consumers the confidence to consider MGP and F graded timber as a true engineered product.”
Mr McNaught said the plywood and LVL industries had always valued the services of EWPAA and the value of the EWPAA brand was something the solid timber industry wanted to embrace.
“Users of the program appreciate the value of EWPAA’s input, both at an audit level and a technical representation level and they see this as value for money,” he said.
“And it’s an obvious extension to the EWPAA certification program which now provides certification services to every timber product, except glulam. “Previously, the degree of rigour associated with product certification didn’t extend to solid timber.
“What we’ve done is to pitch it at exactly the same level as our LVL and plywood programs so users can be totally confident that the material they are buying is an engineered product – and the EWPAA brand confirms this.” FWPA will for the time being retain the former ‘PTAA’ brand for certified sawn timber products. However, in product distribution and promotion and on member company websites the engineered certification by EWPAA will be recognised.
“After 12 months we are ‘bedding down’ the program while the subject of specific branding is under review,” Mr McNaught said.
JAS-ANZ accreditation was established in 1991 by the Australian and New Zealand governments to strengthen the trading relationship between the two countries and with other countries.
Known as the JAS-ANZ Treaty, it operates as a joint accreditation system to deliver on four goals relating to integrity and confidence; trade support; linkage; and international acceptance.
The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia provides accreditation for plywood, LVL, particleboard, MDF and solid timber.Learn more