Legislation on timber import is now emerging in several Asian countries.
The non-profit organization “Forest Trends” (with support from UK aid) recently published a report on the current legislative developments regarding illegal logging in Asia, looking at Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and China.
With Asian countries introducing timber import control, the global market for legal timber trading will increase significantly. Over 90 % of global timber imports in 2016 were to the markets of US, EU, Australia and Asian countries.
With the evolving timber import controls in Asian countries, companies will have a strong incentive to trade in legally logged timber.
The report offers a comparison of the different approaches in the six Asian countries (mentioned above) to prevent illegally logged timber from entering their national markets. The national timber regulations in the six countries are compared using several parameters. Examples are: If the national timber import control regulations are mandatory or voluntary, if the whole supply chain is included, if due diligence is required, and which kinds of penalties are enforced when laws are broken.
The emerging timber regulations in the Asian countries are also compared to existing legalisation, specifically EUTR, US Lacey Act and ILPA from Australia. Finally, the report gives recommendations on how to synthesise the newly introduced Asian timber regulations and EUTR, US Lacey Act and ILPA to minimize illegal timber trading.
As details on how these Asian countries will regulate timber import are still limited, the report is based on the latest available information of the legislative situation in the given countries.