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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

Claims already being staked after GeoScience BC report released

In the first 15 days following the report, a total of 34 new claims were staked.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Waulkwass River

A kingfisher and some trumpeter swans came by close enough to get a few shots.

Port Hardy RCMP investigating drug offences

Both vehicle occupants may face future charges related to the suspected drugs and cash.

Port McNeill’s Barb Drennan named forest technologist of the year

“Her work with the Heiltsuk First Nation is a model for other forest professionals”

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Two scout leaders missing near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, while search continues for two leaders who’d gone for help

B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Teck withdraws application for Frontier mine, citing discourse over climate change

The Vancouver-based company said it will take a $1.13-billion writedown on the Frontier project in Alberta

B.C. VIEWS: Pipeline dispute highlights need for clarity

As the B.C. treaty process grinds on, uncertainty remains

Most Read