APA – the Engineered Wood Association is to close its international offices in the UK, Japan and Mexico on March 10. The move follows the closure of APA’s German and Belgian offices in 2001 in response to a falling US share of European plywood markets.

APA European Union representative Duncan King said the news had come as “a bit of a blow” although it was not entirely unexpected.

He said: “The situation in the UK has got worse with regard to the amount of product coming in to the country.

“There has also been a change in fortune in the income of the APA in the US as some mills have closed or withdrawn from the association which has reduced income.”

APA still intends to provide a service to European countries, but for the foreseeable future will have to rely solely on its new online resource – www.apa-europe.org and contact with its Tacoma headquarters at help@apawood.org.

The UK office had been managing European operations for the past year and developing an interactive multi-lingual website (www.apa-europe.org) to provide an online technical resource for architects and specifiers.

Mr King said: “In the run up to the office closure the UK web content is being increased and adapted to ensure audiences can still access free technical information.”

APA has been represented in the UK for 40 years and Mr King has been with the association for the past 10 years. He said: “This closure is going to leave quite a hole in the market.”