International hardwood companies are being encouraged to join the US-based National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA).

The NHLA has announced a new “partner” membership category which recognises companies engaged in the manufacture, custom kiln drying, wholesaling or distribution of hardwood lumber, veneer, plywood and related products that are not headquartered in North America.

The NHLA said the move was in recognition of the reality that the domestic hardwood lumber industry was in a truly world market.

“The NHLA grading rules have provided the domestic hardwood industry a common language to use in specifying hardwood lumber transactions for the past 113 years,” said NHLA executive director Mark Barford.

“With the addition of the new partner category, the association has taken a step towards setting the world standard for hardwood lumber grades.”