The Australian Furniture Association will be exhibiting under the banner of Australian International Pavilions in Shanghai in September, showcasing a small
number of Award winning Australian designs, recently announced at FURNITEX & design 2016.

As a result of The AFA’s participation in international events to promote Australian design and products, we also receive numerous requests to participate
in opportunities to actively engage in educating international markets, particularly about Australia’s illegal logging laws, standards, and testing.

‘The AFA is constantly approached by international companies wanting to sell into Australia so we have implemented a process to reduce the risk of products
which have not undergone some form of QA standards, testing or certification with our newly appointed international testing and certification partners,
TUV Rheinland, or with AFRDI, our long-time partners here in Australia,’ says AFA CEO, Patrizia Torelli.

‘The issue, as we see it, is that there is currently no education and training available to international suppliers, particularly from China, about Australian
laws etc and the impact is great, especially to consumers, both across commercial and domestic furniture environments. Australian buyers are going
offshore to purchase products without understanding the implications and the risks associated with importing substandard or non-compliant products.
The penalties for non-compliance are hefty and are always imposed on the importer not the international supplier’

‘We only have to look at the recent issue with Asbestos being installed into one of Australia’s newest Children’s hospital to understand the risks. Furniture
is high on the list for potential risks. In fact the lack of education and information specific to our sector will be truly felt once the Illegal Logging
Laws are enforced either later this year or early 2017 once the ‘soft start ‘compliance period ends and the Compliance Advice Notice is released,’
says Ms Torelli.

Patrizia Torelli has been invited to present at the CSIL World Furniture Outlook seminar at the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) Shanghai on September
9 2016 and along with AFA Partners TUV Rheinland, have offered to co-host laboratory tours to TUV’s Shanghai complex during the CIFF event. ‘We are keen to
establish a network of qualified suppliers, with whom Australian businesses can engage with some level of comfort,’ concludes Ms Torelli.

‘CSIL is organizing its World Furniture Outlook seminar at CIFF Shanghai this September and we are delighted that Ms Torelli has accepted our invitation
to join other global speakers to illustrate the market conditions and trends in the main geographical areas for furniture consumption, particularly
those which are the target of Chinese exports, says Paola Govoni Editor-in-Chief WORLD FURNITURE magazine.

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