Step 1: The Exemption Process

Most often, the timber owner/agent applies for a Ministerial exemption of harvested timber. Occasionally, the timber owner/agent will make an application for standing timber which requires an Order in Council (OIC) exemption. Blanket OIC exemptions can also be granted for specific areas rather than specific owners/agents.

Surplus Test for Harvested Timber

The timber owner/agent applies for exemption of timber, and information about the timber is posted online in the Bi-weekly Advertising List. The timber is advertised for two weeks and so begins the test to determine if it is or isn't surplus to the needs of domestic operators.

Most applications for exemption are made through the Log Exemption Information System (LEXIS). Form FS 418 is used only in special situations.

Domestic mill operators can make an offer to buy advertised timber.

  • A timber buyer that has exported timber directly or indirectly from British Columbia within the previous 90 days is not eligible to make an offer on advertised timber, see Conditions above.
  • Check the current Advertising Schedule for the specific cut-off date regarding submission of an offer, withdrawal of an offer, and how long an offer must remain in effect.
  • The offer, and any withdrawal of the original offer, must contain certain information. To demonstrate the information required see these example letters: Offer to Purchase Timber (PDF), and, Withdrawal of Offer to Purchase Timber (PDF).
  • Email the offer letter to both the listed owner as well as the Export contact for your region. The offer should be received no later than 3 PM on the last day of the offer period. See the Useful Contacts page for the region/area email addresses.

Offers are reviewed by the Timber Export Advisory Committee (TEAC), who advises the minister on the fairness of offers, and recommends that the timber be considered surplus or not surplus.

The Minister or a delegate determines if the timber is classified as surplus or not surplus, taking into account the TEAC recommendation and any other factors (see Conditions above). If no offer is received, advertised timber is automatically considered surplus.

When timber is surplus and relevant accounts are in good standing, the ministry issues a Ministerial Order of Exemption for harvested timber to the owner/agent.

Individual OIC Exemption for Standing Timber

On occasion, an application for exemption is made by the owner/agent for standing timber.

Applications for standing surplus timber are only accepted for interior zones.

Blanket OIC Exemption for Standing Timber

An Order in Council exemption is used to exempt some or all of the timber in a specified geographic region from the manufacture requirements in B.C.