The ATIBT Timber Material & Normalization Committee met on the 21st of May 2024


The committee is chaired by Emmanuel Groutel (Wale), with technical support from Jean Gérard (CIRAD), Secretary of the Commission. It is also made up of various members of the ATIBT.

All our members are reminded that they can join on request.

Below are the main points discussed, with the full minutes available to ATIBT members on request.

  • New support documents for the international trade in tropical timber - The 12 booklets of the study Guidelines and recommendations on contracts and practices for the international trade in tropical timber are available on the ATIBT website in French and English. These documents may evolve according to the feedback received.


  • A new Guide to the use of tropical woods - The Guide to the local use of Central African woods produced by Patrick Martin and Emmanuel Groutel as part of the ADEFAC project has just been published. It is a continuation of the previous work Guide d'utilisation des bois africains éco-certifiés en Europe, published by the ATIBT in 2017.


  • Training in Gabon for Customs and Forestry officials - Training in timber identification, measurement and classification was developed and rolled out in April in Gabon for Forestry and Customs officials. The training, run by CIRAD in partnership with Gabon's Ecole Nationale des Eaux et Forêts, trained 60 officers.


  • New species for hydraulic timber? - Danish companies specialising in hydraulic works are planning to use new species covering use class 5. To do this, they would like qualification or confirmation tests to be carried out on the performance of certain tropical species for hydraulic works (tests on resistance to limnories, tarets, resistance to abrasion). A list of potentially interesting woods has been drawn up by Mikkel Jensen (Keflico) based on results obtained in Denmark and the results of qualification work published in 2018. It remains to be seen how these tests could be implemented: a real project to be built, as this type of test can prove very cumbersome in terms of logistics.


  • Adding value to LKTS through gluing - The issue of reconstituting wood by gluing is linked to that of adding value to LKTS. The aim of the planned study is to draw up an assessment of the knowledge available on the gluing of tropical woods, its opportunities and associated constraints, as well as a typology of existing products. This study will be carried out in close conjunction with the Optimisation of material yields in the forest and Optimisation of material yields in the factory components of the ASP-Pacte Vert Cameroun project being led by the ATIBT.


The study could be entitled "Gluing, a technological lever at the service of African tropical woods". It will consist of two parts:

  1. Assessment of available knowledge (technical terminology, glue typology, classification of glues/standardisation, sheet by type of product, mechanisms governing the quality of glues, quality marks and certifications available, etc.).
  2. Synthesis of the 3 components Gluing/LKTS, Optimisation of material yields in the forest and Optimisation of material yields in the factory of the ASP Cameroon project, in the form of a popularisation work.


  • Support for the World Customs Organisation (WCO) - Chapter 44 of the Harmonised System of Customs has been updated, but some countries in West and Central Africa are using an older version. In France, there have been controversies and disputes over the positioning of products under codes 44.07 or 44.09, with different tax rates. What's more, from 1 June onwards, forwarding agents will be required to enter the customs code of timber arriving at the port of Antwerp on loading documents, particularly the BL. This is a truly fundamental issue, requiring discussions between countries, and action needs to be taken to clarify and standardise practices; connections need to be made between certain codes in the Central African Economic Zone and those of the WCO.


  • ATIBT webinar for the USA - The IWPA seminar African lumber, a world of opportunities for the US market was held on 14 March at the initiative of the International Wood Products Association and Nathalie Bouville. The aim was to highlight the prospects for developing imports of African tropical timber into North American markets.


  • ATIBT technical sheets - The summary sheet on the Khaya genus has been finalised and will shortly be available on the ATIBT website.


The full minutes of this meeting are available to ATIBT members.

You can obtain it on request.

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