MTIB was appointed by SIRIM Berhad as one of the Standards Writing Organisations (SWO) on May 25, 1999 for the timber sector. The development of standards has been identified as one of the specific measures that has to be given priority to further enhance the development of the industry. This is to ensure that the timber industry in Malaysia complies with national and international standards in order to remain competitive in the global market.
MTIB's scope of responsibilities cover development of standards on sawntimber, sawlogs and semimanufactures of timber;wood-based panels; mouldings, joinery and wood-based furniture; timber and timber products; and usage of timber and timber products including grading, nomenclature, technology and processes, as well as timber for structural purposes.
With this appointment, MTIB has formed a Technical Committee (TC) to facilitate its role as SWO. Members of TC are from the relevant-government agencies, timber trade associations and higher learning institutes. Currently there are more than 90 Malaysian Standards on timber and its related activities. They are all available in MTIB for sale. This number is obviously far from sufficient and not reflective of its potential for growth and its significance as one of the major contributors to the nation's economy.
At regional level, MTIB is playing an important role in one of the Product Working Groups (PWG), ie, Wood Based Products, which was formed under the umbrella of ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality (ACCSQ).
The 7th meeting of this PWG was held from 29-30 May 2008, in Bali, Indonesia. Experiences and views were shared among members towards strengthening and enhancement of networking among ASEAN Member States on standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures. For standards, it is hoped that the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) could be completed, and hence, it is necessary for the regional integration be accelerated through priority sectors which ASEAN enjoys competitive advantage. Considering this, all deliberations on wood-based product issues need to be accelerated. Specific target for harmonization of standards and technical regulations shall also be set accordingly.
MTIB is also actively involved in giving inputs for the international standards development process, and has been participating in ISO/TC 89: Wood Based Panels for the past 8 years. The Plenary Meeting of this standard committee is an annual event. The Plenary Meeting will be held in Saitama Japan from 8-11 September 2008. It will be attended by 4 Malaysian representatives. Meetings of four subcommittees (SC), namely, the SC 1-Fibreboard, SC 2-Particleboard, SC 3-Plywood and a Working Group meeting on Test Method will also be convened in conjunction with the Plenary Meeting.
In addition to that, the meeting of ISO/TC 165: Timber Structures will be held in Sydney Australia. Malaysia has uplifted its status to a Participating status. Three Malaysian representatives will be attending the meeting, which will be held from 27 September – 1 October 2008.
The 7th Plenary Meeting of ISO/TC218 : Timber; was hosted by Malaysia and it was held in Kuala Lumpur from 22-25 July 2008. The Meeting was attended by 50 delegates from 13 countries. A visit to the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) was also arranged to expose the meeting delegates on the forest and forest products management in Malaysia. They were apprised on the timber research facilities and services offered in FRIM. The delegation also took a walk through the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve located in the city centre, and experienced the forest trail from WARISENI to Menara Kuala Lumpur.
Preceding the Plenary and Working Group meetings of the ISO/TC 218, was the 4th International Scientific and Practical Conference on Timber Standardisation, organized by MTIB and SIRIM Berhad with support from Department of Standards Malaysia. The objectives of the Conference were to heighten awareness on importance of standardization to trade, as well as to disseminate information and update the ISO/TC 218 delegates as well as participants, on the latest standardization efforts. It was also aimed at encouraging and promoting participation of regional players into international deliberation. The Conference was officiated by Y.B. Senator Kohilan Pillay, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities.