Malaysia’s primary industries minister has called once more for a co-ordinated effort to work towards mutual recognition among credible national timber certification schemes.

Dr Lim Keng Yaik said the current situation of only certain certification schemes being recognised for the European market, such as that run by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), is discriminatory and inconsistent with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and European Commission rules on trade.

The minister was speaking in Kuala Lumpur shortly after returning from a European mission to promote the new Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), visiting the UK, Germany, Holland and Belgium.

Dr Lim also met with EU commissioners and urged the commissioner of trade to ensure the EU does not endorse decisions taken by some local governments in member countries to restrict tropical timber use and discriminate among certification schemes.

He is also proposing an import ban on Indonesian logs, with the aim of protecting the Malaysian furniture industry from accusations of using illegally-felled timber.