Certification of softwood lumber in the United States

Four main companies are involved in testing and certification of lumber products in the United States. The main body of the United States, which is engaged in the development of technical standards of certification, is a non-profit organization “Southern Pine Inspection Bureau”. The Board of Directors is elected from among the representatives of regional associations of companies, operating in woodworking industry.

In its turn, the work of such companies is controlled by an independent company “Timber Products Inspection Inc.”, which also certifies wood products. In addition, this company is also an industrial enterprise, which produces various wood products.

Technical requirements to the lumber differ depending on its further application. For quality control the controlling agency tests 20 samples from each batch. If 80% of the tested samples meet quality standards, the supplier is granted with a permission for sales. Products, which have failed testing, are sent for recycling. For example, the company “Great Southern Wood Preserving” tests 30 samples from each batch, not 20. After that, each product gets a “passport”, which contains information about the quality, the level of processing, and the conditions for its further application. Therefore, buildings constructed with products of “Great Southern Wood Preserving”, receive a warranty for 40 years.

There are 6 associations in the USA, approved by the Ministry of Trade, which bring together producers of light softwood materials: Western Wood Products Association, Northeast Lumber Manufacturers Association, Northern Softwood Lumber Bureau, The Redwood Inspection Service, The Southern Pine Inspection Bureau and The West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau.