Tag Archives: legality

Timber Imports from Conflict Countries to EU Increasing

EU timber imports from conflict countries, which are at high risk of being illegal, have increased 14 percent, despite the European Union’s Timber Regulation (EUTR) legislation’s requirement that companies ensure that only legal timber enters the EU market, according to a new Forest Trends report.

The Forest Trends brief analyzes 2015 trade data reported by European governments (the most recent full trade data available). It finds that across the EU, import levels of timber from conflict countries differ significantly, but …

Dutch Court Ruling Helps Curb Illegal Timber Trade

An administrative court in the Netherlands last week ruled on an EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) case involving the import of timber from Cameroon.

The case is notable in that, for the first time, a European court has explicitly ruled that Operators in the EU must not only undertake meaningful Due Diligence but must also be able to supply documentary proof of compliance with the EUTR on request. The court concluded that it is not sufficient for Operators to rely solely …

Swedish Court Rules Myanmar “Green Book” Inadequate for EU Importers

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Swedish Administrative Courts last week ruled that a certificate issued by the Myanmar Forest Products Merchants’ Federation (MFPMF) did not provide adequate proof that a shipment of teak imported into Sweden had been legally harvested. The court’s verdict follows nearly a year of injunctions from Swedish authorities and an appeal by the company, which had imported the teak via a Singapore trader in violation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

The company in …

Survey Shows Progress on US, EU, and Australian Enforcement Actions against Illegal Logging – What Role Can China Play? (English / 中文)

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This month, Forest Trends released the results of the first survey of government agencies responsible for the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), US Lacey Act, and Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act (ILPA). The survey quantifies the extent and nature of enforcement activity of these regulations, which aim to combat the global trade in illegal wood. The results of this survey demonstrate in quantitative terms that there is concerted effort on the part of the US, …

West African Countries Come Together in Guinea-Bissau to Address Illegal Rosewood Trade; Improve Forest Governance

On a recent afternoon in the sleepy village of Simboree, a light breeze swept across Guinea-Bissau’s dry African savannah, interrupting the otherwise steady heat as if in an expression of hospitality toward the unusual guests who had gathered there. Government leaders from 10 neighboring West African countries, along with a delegation from the capital of Bissau, had traveled to this remote little town in Mansaba sector as part of a regional workshop on rosewood logging and trade. Their purpose in …

EU Timber Regulation Starts to Bite

Three years after the EU Timber Regulation was imposed, government officials this week took the first public actions to enforce the rules on the import of potentially illegal tropical timber.

Sweden and the Netherlands have formally notified two companies that imported wood products from Cameroon and Myanmar—allegedly without undertaking effective Due Diligence—that they may be subject to sanction.

These cases mark the start of what is likely to be an increase in actions taken by enforcement officials and an exponential …

CITES Species Protections Can Help Solve Illegal Rosewood Crisis

As the U.S., EU, and Australia implement laws prohibiting the import of illegal wood products, all eyes are on China to see if the world’s largest consumer and processor of timber will play its part. Until the Chinese government adopts binding regulation to stop inflows of illegal wood products (or a due diligence system that importers can easily follow), critics fear that Western countries’ move to embrace legality as the norm will simply move the illicit materials in larger numbers …

Forest Protection Scores a Big Win with Lumber Liquidators Settlement

Last week, FT Senior Analyst Jade Saunders outlined the full breadth of the consequences facing Lumber Liquidators after its new plea agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) was finalized in federal court. In part two of our series, FT’s Forest Trade and Finance Program Director Kerstin Canby explains why the case could signal a boon for companies in the sector that respect legality.

The news from Norfolk, Virginia last Thursday that retailer Lumber Liquidators formally pleaded guilty to