Assessment of the Impact of Potential Further Measures to Prevent the Importation or Placing on the Market of Illegally Harvested Timber or Products Derived from such Timber

This study presented in qualitative and " to the extent possible " quantitative terms the likely economic (including administrative), social and environmental impacts of the four options that had been identified to better address the problem of entry of illegally harvested timber and timber products to the EU market. These options were:

  • FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements. This option provides a legal framework to ensure that only legally harvested timber enters the EU from FLEGT Partner countries.
  • Private Sector Voluntary Schemes. The key European sectoral federations " Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), etc. " and many national industry and trade associations have established internal voluntary policies and codes of conduct targeted at eliminating illegally logged timber and products made thereof from their supply chain.
  • Border Measures to Prevent Importation of Illegally Harvested Timber. This option would be a blunt measure to prohibit the importation of illegally harvested timber to the EU.
  • Prohibition on the Placing on the EU Market of Illegally Harvested Timber. As the previous one, this option would require new Community legislation, but it would be different in the sense that the regulation would apply to both products produced within the EU and imported to the EU.

The options were also assumed to contribute to resolving the underlying problem of weaknesses of forest governance in the exporting countries even though the impact is typically indirect. This proposal explained how the assessment of impacts of these four options could be carried out to assist the Commission to draw up its impact assessment and to inform decision on which option, if any, should be developed further. The study identified both direct and indirect impacts and it revealed differences of options with regard to their efficiency, effectiveness in contributing to the objectives, and consistency. The study did not make recommendation on the various options, but it did identify the pros and cons, risks and potential associated costs without taking a final position on which option is considered to be best.

Due to the nature of the problem of illegal logging and the globalized nature of the forest products trade, the study had a broad approach looking into impacts in the EU, in producing countries exporting to the EU, and in third countries which may participate in the trade as in-transit processors. Acting as a subcontractor, EFI provided EFI-GTM model specification and calculations for the project.

The final report of the project is available on European Commission's Environment DG webpage about illegal logging.

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