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D-17-04: Canadian Green Sawn Wood Certification Program

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Effective Date: February 7, 2019


The Canadian Green Sawn Wood Certification Program (CGSWCP) is a system-based phytosanitary program administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The program provides the basis for the phytosanitary certification of green sawn wood to countries that have accepted the CGSWCP, as listed in Appendix 1.

This directive establishes the requirements for facilities authorized under the program to produce and/or handle green sawn wood products consistent with the phytosanitary export requirements for countries as listed in Appendix 1.

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This directive will be reviewed and updated as required. For further information or clarification, please contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Amendment Record

Amendments to this directive will be dated and distributed as outlined in the distribution below.


  1. Directive mail list (Regions, PHRA, USDA)
  2. Provincial Government, Industry (determined by Author)
  3. Alternative Service Delivery Organizations (Canadian Lumber Standards Accreditation Board (CLSAB))
  4. CLSAB Accredited Agencies\National Industry Organizations (determined by Author)
  5. Internet
  6. Facilities authorized in the Canadian Green Sawn Wood Certification Program
  7. CFIA Approved Third Party Auditors


A number of countries regulate the import of green sawn wood to prevent the entry and establishment of quarantine pests. Green sawn wood is defined in this directive as wood with a moisture content greater than nineteen percent, and which has not been subjected to heat treatment to achieve a minimum temperature of 56°C for a minimum duration of 30 continuous minutes throughout the entire profile of the wood (including its core). Sawn wood is defined as "wood sawn longitudinally, with or without its natural rounded surface with or without bark" [ISPM 5].

To ensure that Canadian green sawn wood products comply with importing country requirements, the CFIA has established a system-based certification program. The program sets out specific requirements for authorized facilities in order for their products to consistently comply with the requirements of importing countries. The CFIA has entered into agreements with alternative service delivery organizations to monitor the performance of authorized facilities.


This directive outlines the phytosanitary requirements for the certification of green sawn wood that is compliant with the requirements of the countries listed in Appendix 1 of this directive. The directive also describes the processes for monitoring facility conformance with the requirements. It is intended for use by:

  • facilities authorized under or those seeking authorization in the Canadian Green Sawn Wood Certification Program (CGSWCP)
  • the Canadian Lumber Standards Accreditation Board (CLSAB) and their Accredited Agencies
  • CFIA inspection staff



Definitions for terms used in the present document can be found in the Plant Health Glossary of Terms

1.0 General Requirements

1.1 Legislative Authority

1.2 Fees

The CFIA charges fees in accordance with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice. However, facilities authorized under the Canadian Heat Treated Wood Products Certification Program (HT Program) are not required to pay the CFIA fee for the Canadian Green Sawn Wood Certification Program (CSGWCP).

Exporters requiring more information on fee schedules may contact any CFIA Regional office or visit the Fees Notice website.

CFIA program fees will be collected by CLSAB Accredited Agencies on behalf of CFIA. All collected fees are remitted to CFIA.

CLSAB Accredited Agencies may also charge fees for authorization and audit services provided under this program.

1.3 Regulated Pests

The CFIA's Plant Protection Act and Plant Protection Regulations require exports from Canada to comply with the importing country's phytosanitary import requirements. Additionally, materials moving in-transit through another country prior to reaching their final destination are required to meet the phytosanitary import requirements of the in-transit country.

Green sawn wood products exported to countries that accept the CGSWCP as listed in Appendix 1, are required to meet phytosanitary requirements as specified by the importing country.


The export of wood packaging material and heat treated wood may also be regulated. Facilities may meet export requirements for these products by participating in the HT Program as specified in directive D-13-01 Canadian Heat Treated Wood Products Certification Program (HT Program).

1.4 Commodities exempt

Processed wood products (for example, plywood, particle board, oriented strand board or veneer sheets) and wood (6mm or less in thickness) are generally not regulated, although some countries may have specific phytosanitary import requirements. Wood packaging commodities that are exempt under ISPM 15, Regulation of wood packaging material in international trade, 2009, FAO, Rome - (PDF 244 kb) are not included in the scope of the CGSWCP.

1.5 Regulated pests

Regulated quarantine and contaminating pests vary by country. The appendices included in this directive identify the categories of pests regulated by the specific countries covered by this directive.

2. Program requirements

Facilities wishing to participate under this program in order to export to countries listed in Appendix 1 must complete the following steps:

  • seek the service of a CLSAB Accredited Agency
  • develop a phytosanitary management system specific to the exporting country(ies) requirements, and submit a manual outlining the procedures and practices of the phytosanitary management system including elements described in Appendix 2, for evaluation and approval by a CSLAB Accredited Agency
  • complete an application form
  • pay the appropriate CFIA fee to the CLSAB Accredited Agency (if applicable)

3. Phytosanitary requirements

3.1 Export certification

Depending on the country of import, shipments must meet the requirements specified in the appendices included in this directive and must be accompanied by one of the following:

  • a CFIA authorized certificate
  • a phytosanitary certificate issued by the CFIA


Import requirements for green sawn wood may include tolerances for bark, freedom from specified pests and freedom from signs and symptoms of other pests and contaminants.

For export certification requirements for countries not listed in the Appendices exporters must contact a local CFIA office at in advance of arranging for exportation of green sawn wood products.

3.1.1 Authorized certificates

A CFIA-authorized certificate must accompany shipments of green sawn wood exported under the CGSWCP.

Criteria for issuance of certificates
  • Certificates are to be issued only by trained employee(s) of authorized facilities
  • Employees must be trained in the application and implementation of this phytosanitary standard and must be familiar with the conditions for the inspection, storage, marking and identification of compliant products
  • Employee(s) (for example, position title) should be specifically identified in the facility phytosanitary management system manual
  • CLSAB is responsible for issuance of the certificate template
  • A copy of the certificate template can be obtained through a CSLAB Accredited Agency
  • Modification to the certificate template is not permitted
  • Certificates should only be issued for shipments which comply with requirements of the importing country
  • One certificate is required per shipment
  • A single certificate may be issued for a consolidated lot
  • Consolidated product must be sourced from and traceable to the originating authorized facilities
  • Once issued, certificates must not be altered
  • Copies of certificates and corresponding inspection information should be retained for a period of no less than two years

3.1.2 Phytosanitary certificates

A phytosanitary certificate is an official Government of Canada document issued by the CFIA to the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of the importing country.

For those importing countries that require phytosanitary certificates to accompany shipments, an exporter who is authorized and in good standing in the program shall provide the CFIA with a copy of the CFIA authorized certificate(s) (see section 3.1.1) issued for the consignment.

CFIA will issue a phytosanitary certificate based on the CFIA authorized certificate provided by the authorized facility.

4. Program oversight

Within the scope of this directive, the CFIA is responsible for oversight of both the program and the CLSAB. The CLSAB is responsible for oversight of the Accredited Agencies and for the control of issuance of authorized certificates.

The CLSAB and/or its Accredited Agencies are responsible for conducting audits of authorized facilities through a formal agreement between CFIA and the CLSAB, and for identifying non-conformances, corrective actions and the need for follow-up audits. Corrective actions will be monitored by the CLSAB, CLSAB Accredited Agency and/or the CFIA.

4.1 System audits

A system audit is a review of the phytosanitary management system operating at a facility authorized under the program. It includes the review and approval of the phytosanitary management system manual, and an audit of the processes used by the facility to meet the requirements of the program. A CLSAB Accredited Agency will conduct an initial evaluation, or system audit, of the facility before it is authorized to ensure that the facility has documented systems to comply with treatment and production requirements.

4.2 Surveillance audits

A surveillance audit is routine monitoring and verification of facility activities to ensure consistent conformance to the facility's phytosanitary management system. Following the authorization of a facility, the CLSAB Accredited Agency will conduct surveillance audits to verify that the authorized facility remains in conformance with the program requirements and their phytosanitary management system.

4.3 Audit frequencies

The CFIA has established an arrangement with the CLSAB to supervise the CLSAB Accredited Agencies which oversee facilities authorized under the program. The CFIA has approved the Operating Plan of the CLSAB which includes the CLSAB Accredited Agencies audit frequency of authorized facilities as determined and described in the CLSAB Regulations.

4.4 Non-conformances

A non-conformance is a failure to comply with a specified requirement of the program. Non-conformances are categorized as "Major", "Minor", or "Observations".

Where non-conformances are identified by a CLSAB Accredited Agency, the Accredited Agency will provide a written report to the authorized facility identifying the non-conformance, the required corrective actions and prescribed time frame, and the requirement for follow-up audits. These corrective actions will be monitored by the CLSAB, CLSAB Accredited Agency and/or the CFIA. The CLSAB or CFIA may prescribe increased frequency of audits until satisfactory corrective actions have been completed.

All material exported under the CGSWCP must conform to the program requirements. Failure to meet the phytosanitary import requirements of a foreign importing country is also a violation of Canadian law, specifically, the Plant Protection Act and Plant Protection Regulations, and may lead to enforcement actions by the CFIA and suspension from this program.

4.4.1 Major non-conformances

Major non-conformances affect the integrity of the program and are required to be corrected immediately. The detection of a major non-conformance may result in a suspension of the facility or require a stop in production until the non-conformance is addressed to the satisfaction of the CLSAB Accredited Agency, the CLSAB and/or the CFIA.

4.4.2 Minor non-conformances

Minor non-conformances are procedures or activities which do not conform to the program requirements but do not specifically affect the integrity of the product or program. These non-conformances, if not corrected, may lead to the production of non-compliant product in the future.

Approved facilities are required to correct minor non-conformances before the next scheduled audit of the facility (or in time frames identified by the CLSAB or a CLSAB Accredited Agency). Depending on the number of non-conformances detected, the CLSAB Accredited Agency may schedule an audit to verify corrective actions as part of their routine audit schedule or as a specific audit in addition to the surveillance audit frequency.

4.4.3 Observations

Observations are noted where the specific elements are not adequately addressed but do not affect the phytosanitary integrity of the program.

4.5 Suspension and cancellation

Facility suspension is the temporary stoppage of export under the program until the facility is brought back into compliance. Facility cancellation is the removal of a facility from the program due to non-payment of fees or inability to consistently operate within compliance with the program. Cancelled facilities must reapply and resubmit a facility phytosanitary management system manual for approval in order to be reinstated into the program.

Where a major non-conformance compromises the integrity of the certification program and is not addressed by the facility to the satisfaction of the CLSAB Accredited Agency, CLSAB and/or CFIA or where the annual fees are not paid, the facility authorization will be subject to a suspension or cancellation.

During the suspension period, the facility will not be permitted to ship any product produced under the certification program. Other corrective actions may be ordered in writing by the CFIA to ensure that the phytosanitary integrity of the program is maintained. Once suspended, the facility will be given a set time frame to implement the necessary corrective actions.

A facility which has been suspended or cancelled may request a CFIA Review Panel to review the decision to suspend or cancel. For further information on review contact the CFIA for further information:

5. Appendices

Appendix 1 – List of importing countries covered by the Canadian Green Sawn Wood Certification Program

Currently Australia is the only country covered by the Canadian Green Sawn Wood Certificate program. Refer to Appendix 3 to learn about requirements for exports to Australia.

Appendix 2 – Elements of the Phytosanitary Management System

Processes and procedures must be developed that ensure the following elements of the phytosanitary management system are addressed.


  • The procedures used in ensuring that staff responsible for phytosanitary activity(ies) is/are competent.

Technical standard

  • The procedures used in meeting the country specific requirements.

Traceability and segregation requirements

  • Certified compliant wood products must be clearly traceable to activities supporting the requirements
  • Compliant wood products sourced from other facilities must be traceable to the registered source
  • Wood products have been appropriately identified and labelled
  • Consolidated wood products should be traceable to production at a registered facility
  • Compliant wood products must be segregated from non-compliant wood products

Documentation and record keeping

  • All records and completed forms including the following, must be retained for a minimum of 2 years:
    • purchasing records
    • training records
    • audit reports
    • certificates
    • inspection reports
    • records of non-conformances
  • The procedures used to document activities must be complete and easily retrieved for inspection
  • Records must clearly validate that only compliant wood products are shipped in accordance with requirements

Corrective Actions

  • Non-conformances must be documented and addressed
  • Verification of a return to compliance must be documented and records maintained

Appendix 3 – Requirements for exports to Australia

Eligible exports

Green sawn wood of the following species:

  • Abies sp. (fir)
  • Chamaecyparis sp. (yellow cedar)
  • Picea sp. (spruce)
  • Pinus sp. (pine)
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir)
  • Thuja sp. (western red cedar)
  • Tsuga sp. (hemlock)
  • Larix sp. (western larch and tamarack)
  • Populus sp. (aspen)

Regulated pests

Wood boring beetles, bark beetles and contaminants.

Recommended risk mitigation measures

  • Logs should be stored in water or sprinkled with water during storage to reduce the incidence of bark beetle infestation
  • Logs must be inspected by trained scalersFootnote 1
  • Antisapstain may be applied (this is not a mandatory requirement)
  • Parties are aware of requirements for cleanliness of containers to ensure they are free of contaminants such as soil, seeds or plant debris
  • Cleanliness of containers requirements can be met through the completion of the "Australian Packing Declaration"


Green sawn wood may enter Australia provided it has been produced in a registered facility with a phytosanitary management system meeting the following:

  • the wood must be produced at a facility registered and in good compliance with the Canadian Green Sawn Wood Certification Program
  • each board must be inspected by trained authorized facility employees during the grading process to confirm that the wood is free of:
    • unsound wood (decayed wood)
    • live pests
    • outer bark
    • grub worm holes
    • pin worm holes (ambrosia beetle)
    • powder worm holes (western cedar borer)
    • other contaminants such as soil, seeds, plant material (weeds, etc.)
  • wood packaging including all dunnage shall be compliant with the requirements of this program or with the standards prescribed in International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures 15 Regulation of wood packaging material in international trade (see directive D-13-01, Canadian Heat Treated Wood Products Certification Program)
  • each package will be inspected during assembly and storage by trained facility employees to verify that the wood is free of outer bark and signs or symptoms of pests
  • procedures in dealing with non-compliant wood during the production process must be specified in the phytosanitary management system manual
  • wood intended for export to Australia is to be physically separated from all other wood and stored in a manner to prevent contamination by soil, seeds or plant debris
  • records of inspection during production storage and transport are to be maintained by the facility for a period of 2 years
  • each facility employee responsible for activities associated with meeting phytosanitary requirements will be appropriately trained
  • training records are to be maintained by the facility for a period of 2 years

System oversight

In accordance with the CLSAB Operating Plan, a minimum of two packages of lumber will be inspected during each facility visit.

For packages containing more than 100 pieces:

  • the CLSAB Accredited Agency must inspect at least 100 pieces from each package, with the option of inspecting the entire package
  • if the inspection of the initial two packages detects >2% non-conforming product, the compliance decision cannot be altered by inspecting further packages to reduce the overall percent of non-conforming product

For packages containing less than 100 pieces:

  • the CLSAB Accredited Agency must inspect two entire packages
  • if the inspection of the initial two packages detects >2% non-conforming product, the CLSAB Accredited Agency can inspect one extra package of the same dimension product

Any non-conforming product detected during inspection must be removed from the package and must not be included in the export shipment.

A major non-conformance will be issued when inspection detects >2% non-conforming product.

A minor non-conformance will be issued when inspection detects <2% and >0% non-conforming product.

If a facility has not produced sawn wood destined to Australia under the program for more than three consecutive months, the Accredited Agency will conduct an audit at the start of production of wood for export to Australia.


Green sawn wood shipments must be accompanied by a CFIA authorized "Canadian Green Sawn Wood Certification Program" certificate. The certificate can be obtained through a CLSAB Accredited Agency and must be completed by an authorized individual in accordance with the instructions on the reverse of the certificate.

The certificate must clearly identify the certified shipment by providing reference to specific marks, labels or tags on the certified wood or the covering wrapper of the wood.

In addition to bundle tags, an additional tag for shipments must be attached to the bundle. The tag must be white with red lettering and include:

  • registered CLSAB Accredited Agency name/logo and mill number (for example, CSI-80)
  • Species common name/Species common name abbreviation (for example, WRC, D-Fir)
  • The abbreviation for the Canadian Green Sawn Wood Certification Program (CGSWCP)
  • Canada
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