Filipino plywood makers decry illegal Chinese importsMANILLA, PHILIPPINES --

The Philippine Wood Processors Association (PWPA) is asking the nation's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to halt the illegal importation of plywood from China.

Maila Vasquez, deputy director of the PWPA, claimed that between 400 and 500 containers laden with plywood illegally entered the country in May, according to Malaya Business Insight. "One container is equivalent to a million pesos. Imagine how much the loss is," Vasquez said. One million Philippine pesos is equivalent to approximately $23,000 U.S. 

Vasquez noted that many of the containers coming from China are illegal because they are being withdrawn from international ports for a fixed fee, thus, circumventing duties and the 190,000 peso per container value-added tax. She encouraged the DTI to take a more aggressive approach to market monitoring.

"Chinese plywood is five-ply and 4.5mm thick but usually misrepresented and sold as 5mm," Vasquez told the paper. "It is undersized and usually shrinks or ripples because it is not dried properly. Drying, after all, is expensive," she said, adding that the illegally imported plywood often emit high levels of formaldehyde.

Glue used in the illegal imports has high formaldehyde emission, posing a health hazard to builders, construction workers and building or home occupants.

Posted by Rich Christianson

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