Home » PLANT BIOSECURITY » Commodity – Specific Inspection » Timber » Untreated round wood/ sawn wood/ timber/lumber (logs, power poles, wharf piles)

Untreated round wood/ sawn wood/ timber/lumber (logs, power poles, wharf piles)

Timber should not be a pathway for soil and other pests, so it is important that the timber be clean.

Figure2: Pests can hitch hike on the bark of this log


Bark is a pathway for many pests and diseases and it is normally prohibited as part of the timber commodity. Bark as a specific commodity may be imported if treated.







It is important that all surfaces of the timber be inspected. Timber stacked in complete lots, as in Figure 4, cannot be inspected effectively. It must be stickered, so that each plank or log can be examined individually.






Figure 4: Timber is badly stacked




Figure 5: Timber is stacked for easy inspection



Figure 5 shows a consignment of timber where every sawn plank has been separated by a piece of local timber. This is the process of stickering, and permits all surfaces of every plank to be examined for infestations. It is also necessary to sticker timber for fumigation treatment.



1 – 3 Refer to Basic Requirements
4 Inspect the outsides of bundles for grain spillage and other contamination such as soil. Inspect approximately ten per cent of timber for the presence of insects. This inspection can also be a monitoring inspection which aims to test the validity of the treatment certificates. Look for:

  • bark, frass, soil;
  • seed and stored product contaminants;
  • fungi fruiting bodies;
  • snakes and other reptiles;
  • Giant African snails/other snails;
  • plant debris;
  • holes, tunnels and/or live insects;
  • ants, spiders.
  • bore dust, frass and fecal pellets.
  • movement, eg. ants, adult insects, etc.
  • gaps and shelter sites, e.g. between individual boards in stacks and in the knots of timber such as red cedar.

In addition, timber should be probed for areas of weakness which may indicate an infestation with a pathogen.

If live arthropods or other quarantine pests are found – refer the matter to a senior biosecurity officer. Go to Step 5.

If no regulated pests are detected release. Go to Step 9.

5 The options available to the senior biosecurity officer are:

  • order fumigation of all timber in the consignment. Go to Step 6.
  • order destruction of the timber; Go to Step 7. 
  • order re-export of the timber. Go to Step 8.
6 Fumigate the consignment and check that the treatment is effective.  Release. Go to Step 9
7 Order the consignment detained and supervise destruction. Go to Step 9
8 Order re-export and supervise.
9 Complete the documentation.
10 Notify non-compliance.

Copyright © 2020. Pacific Community.