After learning that what CITES is here), I contacted the U.S. government's Fish and Wildlife Service for more information on conducting proper and legal trade in these woods. They immediately responded with the following advice and information, which I have bulleted here to make it easy for everyone to follow:

  • The two Russian timber species listed are: - Quercus mongolica (Oak) - Fraxinus mandshurica (Ash)
  • Both listings were annotated with Annotation #5, which means that only logs, sawn wood and veneer sheets are covered under the listing
  • The listing will become effective on June 24, 2014. Production exported prior to that date is not covered.
  • Because the Russian Federation is the listing country, shipments of logs, sawn wood, and veneer sheets of these two species from the Russian Federation must be accompanied by CITES export permits. Further: - Exports of logs, sawn wood, and veneer sheets of these two species from all other countries, including where the species are not native but may be grown in plantations, must be accompanied by CITES Certificates of Origin. - All re-exports of logs, sawn wood, and veneer sheets of these two species, regardless of country of origin, must be accompanied by CITES re-export certificates.
  • Finished products, such as furniture, of these two species are not subject to CITES requirements and therefore do not have to be accompanied by CITES documents when traded internationally.
  • CITES-listed plants and plant products must enter the United States through a "Designated Port." If you have questions about designated ports, please go here for more information.
  • U.S. CITES interagency partners, including both USDA-APHIS and CBP, are aware of these new listings. Port inspectors should be aware of the new listings and ready to implement them for all shipments entering the United States on or after June 24.
  • For permits and more information, go here.

Elizabeth Baldwin has over 20 years of international wood sourcing experience. Very widely traveled, her résumé's "Special Skills" section includes "the ability to eat anything from raw horse to deep-fried scorpion." She serves as Metropolitan Hardwood Flooring's (metrofloors.com) ECO (Environmental Compliance Officer) and deals daily with the "green alphabet soup" of today's industry: FSC, CARB, LEED, and much more. She blogs for Hardwood Floors on all things green (and, as she says, " 'grey' and 'blue' and almost every color except 'black and white.' Nothing in this world is black and white, particularly not 'green issues.'")