Australia, EU, and USA step up enforcement laws to combat illegal timber trade

In the six months to March 2016, enforcement officials in 14 EU Members States and Australia inspected 495 company sites and reviewed 955 due diligence systems.* They issued a total of 396 corrective action requirements, four injunctions and 55 sanctions, according to the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).

The statistics come from the first of what will be six-monthly surveys by Forest Trends – revealing that action by enforcement agencies was associated with timber products from 15 sources or processing countries, among which China, Brazil, Cameroon, Myanmar, and the Republic of Congo were most often implicated.

“It’s great to get this public insight into the work that enforcement officials have been doing recently, and it shows that companies are being put under pressure to change the way they buy wood,” says Jade Saunders, a Senior Policy Analyst at Forest Trends.

“I hope that over time more European agencies will be able to report in the same way so that we can build up a detailed picture of the sanctions that are facing illegal operators, and the way that the sector is changing. Because there is no doubt that it is.”

*The 14 EU Member States that responded to the survey were: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, and one Member State that preferred not to be identified.


Source: Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT)