II. Product identification and classification

In order to identify the NWFP which enter the international trade stream, explanatory notes of harmonized commodity description and coding system (HS) were scanned along with other sources of information and the products thus identified were further investigated under the scheme of classification given in Table 1. A glossary of terms used in Table 1 and not discussed elsewhere in the report is given in Appendix I. Information on CCCN international trade classification codes in respect of NWFP was also collected and is summarised in Appendix II.

Customs Cooperation Council. 1986. Harmonized commodity description and coding system. Explanatory notes.

As a result of this exercise, about 120 non-wood forest products, including 26 essential oils were identified to be commercially important (Tables 1 and 8). Although it was not possible to have a complete listing of individual medicinal plants, available evidence suggests that at least 500-600 such plants enter international trade. Thus, it is safer to conclude that the total number of NWFP entering international trade would be between 600 and 700.

A detailed discussion on quantum and trends in international trade in selected products is given in the following sections. In spite of limited time, an effort has been made to at least cover products of major trade significance under each category; in order to have a good cross-sectional information on the nature of the products, and quantum, direction and trends in their international trade.

Table 1. List of internationally traded non-wood forest products.

S. NO.




Food products

1. Nuts. Brazil nuts, pine nuts, pignolia nuts, malva nut, walnuts and chestnuts.
2. Fruits. Jujube and Ginkgo.
3. Edible fungi. Morels, truffles and pine mushrooms.
4. Vegetables. Bamboo shoots and palm hearts.
5. Starches. Sago.
6. Bird nests.
7. Oils. Sheanuts, babacu oil, sal or tengkawang or illipe oil.
8. Maple sugar.


Spices and condiments

1. Nutmeg and mace.
2. Cinnamon and cassia.
3. Cardamom.
4. Galanga
5. Allspice
6. Caraway


Industrial plant oils

Tung oil, Neem oil, Jojoba oil, Kemiri or candle or lumbang oil, akar wangi and kapok oils.


Plant gums

1. Gums for food uses. Gum arabic, tragacanth, karaya and carob gums.
2. Technological grade gums. Talha and combretum gums.


Natural pigments

Annatto seeds, and indigo.



1. Pine oleoresin
2. Copal and Damar, Gamboge, Benzoin gum, Dragon's blood Benjamin) and Copaiba oil.
3. Amber


Fibres and flosses

1. Fibres. Bamboo, rattan, xate attap, aren, oster, raffia, toquilla straw products, cork, esparto, Erica and other broom grasses.
2. Flosses. Kapok or silk cotton.


Vegetable tanning materials

Quebracho, Mimosa, Chestnut and catha/cutch.



Natural rubber, gutta percha, jelutong, sorva and chicle.


Insect products

1. Natural honey.
2. Beeswax.
3. Lac.
4. Silk. Mulberry and non mulberry silks.
5. Cochineal
7. Aleppo galls.


Incense woods

Sandalwood, gharu or aloewood.


Essential oils


Plant insecticides

Pyrethrum, Derris, Medang and Peuak Bong.


Medicinal plants


Wild plants


Animals and animals' products

Ivory, trophies, bones, feathers, maleo eggs, live animals and birds.


Miscellaneous products

1. Bidi leaves.
4. Soap berries (soap nut).
5. Quillaia bark.
6. Cola nut.
7. Chewing sticks.
8. Lacquer.
9. Dom nuts or ivory nuts.