Exemption and Refund Procedures

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EXEMPTION AND REFUND PROCEDURES

James and Anne Robinson Nature Center / 2014 WDA: Institutional Wood Design / Photo Credit: PAUL BURK PHOTOGRAPHY

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.1

SMALL COMPANY EXEMPTION (for companies that ship under 15 mmbf)

U.S. Manufacturers: U.S. manufacturers who ship less than 15 mmbf of softwood lumber annually within the U.S. are exempt from paying assessments. Small manufacturers must apply to the Softwood Lumber Board for a Certificate of Exemption by completing an “Application For Exemption From Assessment.” Companies must provide substantiating documentation; i.e., a statement of previous year annual shipments into the U.S. market, and expectations for shipments in the current year, taken from company records, reports to grading agencies, and so forth. Certificates of Exemption must be requested annually.

Please download and complete the application below.

2020 Application for Exemption from Assessment (English)
2020 Application for Exemption from Assessment (French)

Please click the link below to upload your signed application and, if applicable, supporting documentation. Then click Submit.

Accepted file types: PDF.

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: pdf.

Importers of Record: 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. Customs will collect from ALL importers of record, including those that ship less than 15 mmbf annually to the U.S. Importers will receive a refund from the SLB on assessments collected by Customs on their first 15 mmbf shipped during the year.

Small importers of record may also apply to the SLB for a Certificate of Exemption. The SLB will review the applications and issue Certificates of Exemption as appropriate. This process will help the SLB ensure the accuracy of importer contact information, which will facilitate the processing of refunds.

EXEMPTION FOR THE FIRST 15 MMBF SHIPPED

U.S. manufacturers and importers who ship domestically or import 15 mmbf or more of softwood lumber per year are exempt from paying assessments on their first 15 mmbf shipped or imported during the applicable year.

U.S. Manufacturers: U.S. manufacturers shall deduct their first 15 mmbf when calculating their assessments. This volume should be deducted from the total shipped on the Shipment/Import Quarterly Report.

Importers of Record: For the first two quarters of 2020, importers of record who ship 15 mmbf or more of softwood lumber to the U.S. must continue to submit a Shipment/Import Quarterly Report to the SLB. Importers should deduct their first 15 mmbf when calculating their assessments. Beginning July 1, 2020, Customs will collect assessments from importers of record. Going forward, importers will receive a refund from the SLB on assessments paid on their first 15 mmbf shipped annually.

REFUNDS

The SLB will issue refunds to companies on their first 15 mmbf shipped to the U.S. during each calendar year. To ensure that SLB refunds you the proper amount, please submit a Refund Application once you are done importing for the calendar year, or once you have reached the 15 mmbf exemption threshold for the year. This will help the SLB ensure the accuracy of your refund. Your refund application may be submitted to exempt@softwoodlumberboard.org.

If you are a regular assessment payer to the SLB, you may have already deducted your 15 mmbf exemption for 2020 in Q1 or be planning to take the deduction in Q2. For those companies, a refund application for 2020 is not necessary, but will be requested in future years.

Please download and complete the application below.

Refund Application (English)
Refund Application (French)

Please click the link below to upload your signed application and, if applicable, supporting documentation. Then click Submit.

Accepted file types: PDF.

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: pdf.

EXEMPTION FOR EXPORTS

Shipments of softwood lumber by U.S. manufacturers to locations outside of the United States are exempt from assessment. U.S. manufacturers are to deduct the volume of exports from the total volume of shipments when calculating the volume subject to the assessment. The SLB shall refund assessments that may be paid inadvertently on such shipments. Softwood lumber destined for export which is shipped by a U.S. manufacturer to a third party who takes possession of the lumber before export is subject to assessment.

1As required for all checkoffs, the Softwood Lumber Checkoff provides for an organic exemption. The SLB is not aware of any organic softwood lumber entities. Typically products, mostly food products, labeled as 100 percent organic under the National Organic Program are exempt from paying the assessment under the Organic Exemption – however, some split operations may be exempt on their organic products as well. Please contact the Softwood Lumber Board if you believe you may be eligible for the organic exemption.