Importing lumber can be tricky, especially with all the regulations and obstacles involved. And that’s precisely why J. Gibson McIlvain decided years ago to become an Importer of Record. When you purchase your imported lumber from an Importer of Record, you all but eliminate your chances of buying illegally harvested or sold lumber. You also avoid added costs associated with multiple “middle men.”
Understanding Importers of Record
An Importer of Record is basically the entity that owns the lumber as it enters the country. When you purchase your lumber directly from an Importer of Record, you ensure that fewer hands have touched the lumber, giving you a less cluttered line between you as the customer and the forest from which the lumber comes. Because each entity involved in the chain of custody can make the waters a bit more murky as well as add to the cost (everyone takes their cut!), you can lessen your risks as well as your costs by buying from an Importer of Record.
Alternatives to Importers of Record
The average local lumber yard is not an Importer of Record. As such, it houses lumber that’s come from about a dozen companies and has touched down on at least 2 or 3 continents on its way. Fees have been added from a variety of sources — including, but not limited to, the following: local taxes, exporters, shippers, storage facilities, wholesalers, distributors, dealers, manufacturers, and contractors. While an Importer of Record might not be able to offer extremely cheaper prices (after all, they do have to absorb the same litany of costs), they can sometimes keep prices down.
Greatest Benefits Offered by Importers of Record
More significant than cost savings is the legal side of things: buying from an Importer of Record is safer in a day in which Lacey Act regulations and CITES species make you, as the customer, responsible for all links in the chain of custody for any lumber that you purchase. When there are fewer links in that chain, you’re more easily able to prove that the lumber you use has been legally and responsibly harvested.
In addition to lessening the length of the chain of custody, Importers of Record keep things as simple as possible by doing the research for you. So without added work, on your part, you can be assured of the legality of the lumber that you buy.
So, to recap, by purchasing lumber from an Importer of Record, you may or may not pay less than you would otherwise. But you’ll be getting the added value of assurance that you’re on the right side of the law as well as ethics and without having to do extensive research in order to ensure it.
J. Gibson McIlvain: Importer of Record
As an Importer of Record, J. Gibson McIlvain goes to great lengths to form relationships with lumber mills across the globe and continually checks up on the harvesting process and long-term sustainability plans they implement. When you buy from us, you get to be part of our 200+ year legacy of responsible lumber practices.