Regulation compliance


Illegal logging and the global trade of illegally harvested wood is one of the most important causes of deforestation. While the vast majority takes place in the Amazon basin, Central Africa and South East Asia, illegal logging and trade of illegally harvested timber also continues to take place in Europe, which remains one of the largest markets for tropical timber imports. 

A recent Interpol report estimated that illegal logging accounted for 50 to 90 percent of the volume of all forestry in major tropical producing countries and 15 to 30 percent globally, with a total value of up to 90 billion euros or 10 to 30 percent of the global timber trade.  

Countries do not have digitized systems to check compliance. 

Approved by the European Parliament and Council in 2010, the EU Timber Regulation reflects the EU’s determination to ban trade in the EU market of illegally harvested timber, regardless of its origin. The EUTR prohibits operators in Europe from trading illegally harvested timber and requires EU traders to exercise due diligence.  The FLEGT (“Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade”) action plan is a European Union instrument to combat illegal logging and the import of illegal timber and timber products. The main objective of this plan is to guarantee that the wood and wood products that are exported from a country to the territory of the EU have a legal origin. The main instrument used by the EU to implement this action plan is the signing of Voluntary Partnership Agreements between exporting countries and the EU. The EU has serious difficulties in implementing the control mechanisms that guarantee the correct application. The development of these agreements usually takes a long period of time.

In 2008, the U.S. Congress passed a new law making it illegal to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire or purchase interstate or international any plant extracted or traded in violation of U.S. laws, a U.S. state, or relevant foreign laws.

In Australia, the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 prohibits the import and processing of illegally harvested timber and timber products into Australia. Within 24 months, domestic importers and processors will be required to conduct due diligence for certain products and declare at the border that they have conducted the necessary due diligence.

The Act also establishes a comprehensive monitoring system, with powers to investigate and a rigorous system of criminal sanctions to enforce the requirements of the Act.

Other countries are also reviewing their legislation.

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