The new chairman of the National Panel Products Division (NPPD), Richard Hewitt delivered a blistering attack on rogue traders in his speech at the division’s annual dinner last week.

Commenting on the recent increase in volumes of Chinese plywood being imported into the UK, Mr Hewitt, who is managing director of Georgia-Pacific (UK) Ltd, said the NPPD had convened a Code of Conduct committee meeting which had concluded that it was incorrect to mark Chinese plywood as Far Eastern. “The latter is a product which consists of tropical hardwood veneers throughout, manufactured to Indonesian or Malaysian quality standards,” he said. “Chinese plywood, on the other hand, is mainly poplar cores with a 0.6mm okoume or meranti face veneers. It beggars belief that some unscrupulous importers are marking this as Far Eastern and also falsely stamping BS 6566 on the crate. This practice is totally misleading to the general merchant and should be stopped immediately.”

Mr Hewitt went on to remind guests that the industry now had the machinery to do something about TTF member companies who flouted the Code of Conduct by “mis-marking” and “flagrant misrepresentation of the goods”.

&#8220Stop trading with these cowboys and stop trading with them now”

Richard Hewitt, NPPD chairman

“Produce the evidence and it will be independently investigated and dealt with. You can bring a prosecution under the Trades Description Act. But the best solution is even simpler – stop trading with these cowboys and stop trading with them now!”