OTTAWA, ONTARIO - Wood exports are likely to rise, say Canada's agricultural and trade agencies, following Mexico's agreement to recognize Canada's heat treated lumber certification program.

Under this new arrangement with Mexico, Canadian lumber producers accredited under a heat treatment program overseen by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are now able to export wood such as spruce, pine and fir to Mexico without a phytosanitary certificate.

While the movement of lumber and wood products are often a pathway for the spread of plant pests, Canada heat treats its lumber to reduce this risk and to meet the import requirements of foreign countries.

Canadian lumber exports to Mexico were valued at almost $6 million in 2013. The forestry, logging, pulp and paper industries are a significant component of the Canadian economy and contributed almost $20 billion to Canada's GDP in 2013, and $19.1 billion to Canada's balance of trade. The sector employssome 186,500 Canadians.

The heat treatment process is defined in the Canadian Heat-Treated Wood Products Certification Program. This program's certificates are recognized by many of Canada's trading partners including the United States, the European Union, Australia, Korea and now Mexico.

The agreement between the CFIA, Natural Resources Canada, and Mexico's environment and natural resources ministry comes as a result of discussions under the North American Plant Protection Organization Cooperative Agreement which encourages cooperation in facilitating safe trade of plants and plant products between the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.