Title: Ambiguity in timber trade from efforts to combat illegal logging- potential impacts on trade between South-east Asia and Europe
Citation: Forests vol. 4 no. 4 p. 730-750
Publisher: MDPI
Publication Year: 2013
JRC N°: JRC84075
ISSN: 1999-4907
URI: http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4907/4/4/730
DOI: 10.3390/f4040730
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Raised public concern in the European Union (EU) about the legality of its timber imports has pushed the European Commission to raise its standards and legality demands for wood imports. Combining literature review, structured interviews and trade data analysis this study assesses the potential influence from FLEGT (with its VPA system and new legislation EUTR), and third party verification schemes on the timber trade between tropical countries and Europe. These instruments have the potential to reduce the amount of illegally sourced timber being placed on the market, and they seem to have resulted in both increasing support of legality verification and certification uptake. However, there are signs of increased ambiguity in trade that could originate as a side effect of the transition towards a stricter regulation for tropical timber. Such ambiguity is explicitly taken into account here. Possible consequences from increased ambiguity are substitution of oak lumber for tropical hardwood lumber, and a diversion of exports of tropical timber to destinations with less stringent regulatory framework than the EU. Evidence of these trade patterns in the literature review, interviews, and trade data analysis seems to confirm that ambiguity in international trade markets has actually increased since the introduction of these instruments.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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