Ukraine has used the European Wood Classification Standard since 2019
Ukrainian news agency quoted Vladimir Bodali, deputy director of the State Forestry Administration, on February 25 as saying that Ukraine had abandoned the former Soviet Union’s GOST standard since 2019 and began to use European wood classification and testing standards.
Some insiders said 2018 was the last year Ukraine used the Soviet gost standard. The State Forestry Administration is planning to use new national standards that are in line with European standards. Previously, wood was classified into three grades – grade 1, grade 2 and grade 3 according to its use. From 2019, it will be classified into four quality grades, a, b, C and d, as in European countries, regardless of its use.
He pointed out that the basis of the classification principle of logs in the European Standard System was size and quality, i.e. the bigger the diameter, the fewer defects and the higher the grade.
Grade a, the lower half of the log, the wood is clean or has no obvious defect affecting the use.
Grade b, wood of medium quality, has no special requirements for wood purity, and knot scar does not affect the medium quality.
Grade c, wood quality is lower than medium quality, there are no obvious shortcomings, shortcomings will not significantly reduce the natural quality of wood.
Grade d, wood quality does not meet any of the above quality requirements, but can still be used as sawdust.
He stressed that only objective data could determine wood quality. Other materials, industrial wood that does not meet these four standards, 2-4 meters long, are used to produce wood chips or as firewood. Industrial wood less than 2 meters long can be supplied to natural or legal persons as fuel.
He also said that European standards applied to wood including beech, oak, pine, cypress, Chinese fir, larch, poplar, yew. There are also some Ukrainian species that are more common in wood classification without clear criteria. In Europe, if the number of certain timber is very small, its classification refers to its closest species, such as Alnus Alba or Populus davidiana, whose quality is determined according to the standard of Populus alba. Ukraine may encounter a series of problems when using the above classification criteria. Therefore, after many rounds of consultation with experts and European manufacturers, Ukraine has studied the supplementary technical conditions and stipulated that there is no clear classification requirements for these timber products in Europe.
All EU countries that use European standards do not restrict the increase of their own standards, but supplement or specify the above standards. Therefore, Ukraine has made supplementary provisions for some wood varieties, including birch, alder, bodhi, goose ear maple, acacia, poplar, cherry and so on.
Some also stressed that the switch to EU timber classification standards could solve the problem of over-regulation of timber and its products sales by national regulatory authorities, which may have previously imposed various requirements on forest farms and timber processing enterprises for lack of standards.