How It Works


This section describes how the Softwood Lumber Checkoff operates:

  • The Order provides the regulatory background on the Checkoff and describes how it functions in considerable detail. Read more
  • Assessment Procedures provides detailed instructions for companies eligible to participate in the Checkoff about how to pay their assessments. Read more
  • Exemption Procedures describes the various exemptions authorized under the Order. Read more
  • For those interested in serving on the Softwood Lumber Board, Nominations describes the annual process and requirements for Board service. Read more
  • Referenda describe the periodic industry approval process for continuation of the Checkoff. Read more
  • Compliance describes the SLB’s Compliance Policy. Read more
  • The SLB is audited annually. The auditor’s certification letter may be found here and the report to the Finance Committee may be found here. If you would like a copy of the audit, please contact
  • The SLB’s comprehensive program evaluation report may be found here.

Assessment Procedures & Compliance Policy

Under the Softwood Lumber Checkoff, assessments are collected from importers of record and U.S. manufacturers of softwood lumber. Since the program’s inception, companies have been required to report and pay assessments directly to the Softwood Lumber Board. Beginning July 1, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will collect assessments on imported softwood lumber covered under the Checkoff on behalf of the SLB.


Exemption Procedures

Under the Softwood Lumber Checkoff, all U.S. manufacturers and importers of record of softwood lumber are exempt from paying assessments on their first 15 million board feet shipped to, or within, the United States. U.S. manufacturers are also exempt from paying assessments on exports of softwood lumber from the United States.



The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted a referendum among U.S. softwood lumber manufacturers and importers from May 23 through June 10, 2011. In May 2018, the referendum to continue the Softwood Lumber Checkoff passed with overwhelming support. See the SLB press release and the USDA press release.