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November 15, 2011

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Imported lumber fraud soars in just a month

A series of import trade frauds have been uncovered by the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, eight of them in a month involving lumber valued at more than US$1.6 million.

The bureau said yesterday it was rare to identify eight such frauds in a single month.

Officials said in one case foreign shippers substituted pine for Dalbergia louvelii - a kind of rosewood that is much more valuable and found only in Madagascar.

In another case, conifer planks imported from the US had not been heat-treated and was attacked by mildew after arriving in China.

Lumber fraud is mainly about the quality, quantity and scale of the imported wood from countries such as Thailand and the US.

The bureau said it will be improving testing of lumber.

Rubber smoked sheets were also among fraudulent imports seized last month. The sheets are used mainly to make basketballs and bicycle tires.

A Shanghai company discovered sheets from two suppliers in Thailand were three quality tiers lower than the suppliers claimed - the scale has a total of six tiers. Officials said nearly 60 percent were substandard.

Manufactures are being warned to monitor the quality of goods and add clear compensation clauses to contracts and agreements.


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