WASHINGTON – The comment period for the proposed Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order has been extended to February 18. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the 30-day extension gives wood industry stakeholders and others additional time to review the proposal and provide feedback.
Notice of the deadline extension will be published in the Jan. 16 Federal Register.
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Approximately 700 comments already have been submitted as of January 15. To submit written comments or view the Hardwood Checkoff proposed rule, visit regulations.gov, or mail a request to the Promotion and Economics Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Stop 0244, Room 1406-S, Washington, DC 20250-0244. Requests and comments also can be faxed to (202) 205-2800.
Checkoff programs are collective marketing efforts funded by the product producers and run by an industry-governed board; coordinated through the USDA. Under the Hardwood Checkoff proposal, as posted in the Federal Register, funding for the program would come from sawmills producers and kiln operating facilities with annual sales in excess of $2 million. These companies would be required to pay $1 per $1,000 on sales on the raw product. Value-added – though still considered unfinished – products, such as unfinished strip flooring, mouldings, dimensioned components, S4S, etc., will also be subject to a checkoff fee, but at a reduced rate of $0.75 per $1,000 in sales. Hardwood plywood mills with annual sales in excess of $10 million would pay $3 per 1,000 square feet of production; companies would be given a “credit” for lumber purchases, which is deducted from their fee.
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