Phytosanitary Certificates (HT Certificates) for Softwood Lumber Exports

Phytosanitary Certificates (HT Certificates) for Softwood Lumber Exports

Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Agreement with the USDA APHIS, NELMA is an established certifying agency that has approval to issue a Heat Treatment Certification to its manufacturing member mills that ship direct or sell softwood lumber destined for overseas customers.

Since 1993, NELMA has been approved to provide this added service to its members for shipment to European countries (EU). However, please note that regulation changes implemented by the EU in late 2014 will not permit the use of HT Certificates from certified agencies such as NELMA without a Phytosantiary Certificate from the USDA. The recent heightened concerns by the EU for receiving the pests of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Pinewood Nematode) and Monochamus spp (various Longhorn Beetle types) in lumber have initiated this change.  Additional declarations, required protective coverings for the shipment and even a safe flight season of the longhorn beetles for shipping are part of this new EU regulations.  We strongly urge that exporters of softwood lumber to the EU contact their local/regional USDA APHIS office for specific instructions. Click here to locate the nearest office.

In 2009, the Association was approved to provide the same certification service for shipments to all other countries (Non-EU).  These HT Certificates remain valid for softwood lumber shipments.

To activate this service from NELMA, the manufacturing member enters into an agreement with the Association that permits its inspection staff access to all aspects of the mill’s kiln operations and records. If the member mill is already part of NELMA’s HT program, the certification for export lumber becomes a straight-forward process and expedites the procedures for obtaining the proper documents that must accompany the shipments. A certificate is required for each shipment and must contain specific information that includes all grades, sizes, species, board footage, and country of destination

Lumber wholesalers and brokers that order softwood lumber for export from a NELMA-certified manufacturer should always advise the mill the country of final destination, as HT requirements can vary; and to ensure the proper certificate is issued by NELMA.

For details regarding NELMA’s Softwood Lumber Export Program, contact the Association by phone (207-829-6901) or email ( Specific heat treatment requirements by country may also be obtained from NELMA or by contacting your local USDA APHIS Export Specialist from the link provided above.