​“This is good news because it reopens an important market for companies that export hardwood logs to China via The Port of Virginia,” said Rodney W. Oliver, interim executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “A lot of work went into this effort on both the federal and state levels; we believe it will reenergize this piece of export business.”

The USDA – APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) and the Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services played critical roles in this effort, Oliver said.

Two years ago, all log shipments exported to China by way of The Port of Virginia and The Port of Charleston (SC) were banned by the Chinese government because of concerns over invasive pests. Following months of negotiations and extensive research, the Chinese began a year-long pilot program in June 2012 that allowed for the export of both hard and softwoods. The recently completed analysis of that pilot program reopens the export market for hardwood logs going to China.

Phytosanitary certificates issued by USDA-APHIS can be issued effective Sept. 15; APHIS recommends that the 24-hour duration fumigation schedule be maintained for hardwood species.

Interested exporters may contact Cary Hagen, vice president of cargo sales for Virginia International Terminals LLC, at 757-440-7200.