There are areas that will be of special interest to buyers of graded Malaysian timbers:
- Rules dealing with size tolerance
Timbers tend to shrink upon drying. To allow for this expected shrinkage, the MGR recommends that timbers be sawn oversized, with an allowance to compensate for this shrinkage. Timbers sawn with such an allowance for shrinkage are described as full sawn. However, full sawn timbers are more expensive as the cost of the extra material supplied will eventually be borne by the buyers. In cases where the final size of the piece of timber is not critical to its utilization, e.g., when the timber is re-sawn before usage, the buyers can specify that the timber need not be full sawn. This is to save costs. In these cases, the buyers can specify that the timber be sawn to its exact dimension, or bare sawn.This cost-saving measure can be taken further by specifying that the timber be sawn to a dimension slightly less than specified, i.e., scant sawn.Whether the timber is purchased as full, bare or scant sawn, it is very much a matter of buyer-seller contractual agreement. Under specifications for bare or scant sawn timbers, all documents will have to bear the correct specifications and all grades will be marked with the words “bare” or “scant”. In the absence of such a prior contractual agreement, all timbers are presumed to be full sawn timbers.
- Rules for grading kiln-dried timber
Timber to be kiln-dried will be graded before kiln-drying. Timbers are to be sawn with recommended oversize and provisions for scant sawn do not apply. Defects developed during the kiln-drying process will be the responsibility of the kiln operator, who shall reject all defective pieces. The kiln operator will issue a kiln-drying certificate, which will be endorsed by the Grading Authority with the statement "timber kiln-dried after grading". No kiln-dried timber can be exported without this endorsement which proves that the timbers were graded and inspected prior to kiln-drying.
- Rules for grading of impregnated timber
Grading is normally done before impregnation unless otherwise specified. This means that any defective piece would have been removed prior to treatment. It must be noted that grading is done solely to ensure the quality of the piece of timber and not the impregnation process. For that assurance, an accompanying "Impregnation Certificate" will have to be issued by the company treating the timber, and the certificate will have to be endorsed by the Grading Authority.
- Reading the Grade Marks
All timbers graded under the MGR are marked with Grade Marks consisting of an arrow with the letters F and D (denoting the Forestry Department, the historical Grading Authority), on either side. Underneath the arrow is the abbreviation for the appropriate grade (e.g., prime, select, standard, sound, utility etc.). Additional markings are found on the side if appropriate, e.g., PHND.
Some grades are marked as “& UP”. This means that the grade has a minimum rating of the grade and may contain pieces that are of a higher grade. Example, if the grade is “Select & Better”, it means that the worst piece of the parcel is of the “Select” grade but the parcel may contain pieces that are of a better grade.