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China’s customs officials have suspended imports of timber from Australia’s New South Wales and Western Australia states, saying that pests were found in cargoes, amid soured ties between Canberra and Beijing.

The General Administration of Customs of China has notified authorities in Australia that log timber imports from New South Wales and Western Australia were halted from Wednesday due to pests, in line with sanitary measures and quarantine laws.

“Recently, customs in Tianjin, Nanjing, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Huangpu discovered live forest pests in logs imported from New South Wales and Western Australia,” the administration said in a notice. The decision was made, it added, to suspend log imports from the two states “in order to prevent the introduction of harmful organisms and protect our country’s agricultural and forestry production.”

Chinese customs first banned the imports from Queensland on October 31 after they claimed to have found a pest, the bark beetle Ips grandicollis, in logs. Since then, China has suspended shipments of log timber from Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, also citing pest infestation. As timber imports have been cut from Australia’s six states, they may completely cease after the latest move.

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The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), a timber industry body, said it was discussing with the government in Canberra the impact that the suspensions may have on the Australian log timber industry. The AFPA warned that a need for short- and long-term assistance may emerge “to support workers and businesses already impacted, and to avoid further, widespread job losses and mill closures.”

The trade conflict between China and Australia escalated earlier this year, with Beijing suspending imports, after Canberra demanded an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak. Back in 2018, Australia also banned Huawei equipment from its 5G network, citing security concerns.

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China’s customs officials have suspended imports of timber from Australia’s New South Wales and Western Australia states, saying that pests were found in cargoes, amid soured ties between Canberra and Beijing.

The General Administration of Customs of China has notified authorities in Australia that log timber imports from New South Wales and Western Australia were halted from Wednesday due to pests, in line with sanitary measures and quarantine laws.

“Recently, customs in Tianjin, Nanjing, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Huangpu discovered live forest pests in logs imported from New South Wales and Western Australia,” the administration said in a notice. The decision was made, it added, to suspend log imports from the two states “in order to prevent the introduction of harmful organisms and protect our country’s agricultural and forestry production.”

Chinese customs first banned the imports from Queensland on October 31 after they claimed to have found a pest, the bark beetle Ips grandicollis, in logs. Since then, China has suspended shipments of log timber from Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, also citing pest infestation. As timber imports have been cut from Australia’s six states, they may completely cease after the latest move.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO: US President Donald Trump does a fist bump with Japan's then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
Trump presents Legion of Merit to Indian PM Modi, Japan's Abe & Australia's Morrison in nod to anti-China ‘Quad’ alliance

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), a timber industry body, said it was discussing with the government in Canberra the impact that the suspensions may have on the Australian log timber industry. The AFPA warned that a need for short- and long-term assistance may emerge “to support workers and businesses already impacted, and to avoid further, widespread job losses and mill closures.”

The trade conflict between China and Australia escalated earlier this year, with Beijing suspending imports, after Canberra demanded an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak. Back in 2018, Australia also banned Huawei equipment from its 5G network, citing security concerns.

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