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D-17-04: Canadian Sawn Wood Certification Program

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Effective Date: December 21, 2021
(2nd revision)


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

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

The directive has been revised to remove the requirement to put wood species on the bundle tags (see Appendix 3, under Certification). The wood species must clearly appear on the "Canadian Sawn Wood Certification Program" certificate.

On this page


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 Sawn Wood Certification Program
  7. CFIA Approved Third Party Auditors


A number of countries regulate the import of sawn wood to prevent the entry and establishment of quarantine pests. 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 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 and wood kiln dried to a moisture content equal to or less than 19% in a low temperature or dehumidification kiln that is compliant with the requirements of the countries listed in Appendix 1 of this directive.

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).

Low temperature or dehumidification kilns are defined as operating at less than 56 °C (133 °F) during the drying cycle.

The directive also describes the processes for monitoring facility conformance with the requirements. It is intended for use by:



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 Sawn Wood Certification Program (CSWCP).

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 commodities

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.

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

Note: 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 CSWCP.

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:

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 1 of the following:

Note: import requirements for 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 sawn wood products.

3.1.1 Authorized certificates

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

Criteria for issuance of certificates

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 CSWCP 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 Sawn Wood Certification Program

Currently Australia is the only country covered by the Canadian 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.


Technical standard

Traceability and segregation requirements

Documentation and record keeping

Corrective Actions

Appendix 3 – Requirements for exports to Australia

Eligible exports

Sawn wood of the following species:

Regulated pests

Wood boring beetles, bark beetles and contaminants.

Recommended risk mitigation measures


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

System oversight

In accordance with the CLSAB Operating Plan, a minimum of 2 packages of lumber will be inspected during each facility visit.

For packages containing more than 100 pieces:

For packages containing less than 100 pieces:

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 3 consecutive months, the Accredited Agency will conduct an audit at the start of production of wood for export to Australia.


Sawn wood shipments must be accompanied by a CFIA authorized "Canadian 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 name of the wood species (common name) must be on the certificate. Also, 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:

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