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New briefing introduces the Chinese Timber Legality Verification System

The EU FLEGT Facility has published a briefing on the Chinese Timber Legality Verification System (CTLVS) and associated policies that China is developing to combat illegal logging and trade in illegal timber. The briefing outlines how the CTLVS might work in practice, describing roles of government agencies, industry associations, verification organisations, research institutes and NGOs.

Imported timber in China (photo courtesy EU FLEGT Facility).

Entitled “Introduction to China’s Timber Legality Verification System“, the briefing explains how a newly-developed timber legality verification standard, for both domestically-harvested and imported timber, is likely to be key to the CTLVS. The standard sets out the requirements for legality at the forest management level and throughout the chain of custody.

Compliance with this standard will be voluntary. However, members of two national associations — which include more than 80 percent of the country’s importers and exporters of timber and timber products — are likely to follow the standard in order to meet future mandatory legality requirements that China is developing.

Until then, efforts are underway to support Chinese companies in establishing due diligence systems and complying with future national and international market requirements on timber legality. The briefing describes some of these capacity-building approaches.

It also discusses activities aimed at ensuring Chinese enterprises overseas comply with the laws of their host countries so that the timber and timber products they supply to China are legal.


FLEGT – Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade. The EU published the EU FLEGT Action Plan in 2003. The Action Plan aims to reduce illegal logging by strengthening the sustainability and legality of forest management, improving forest governance and promoting trade in legally produced timber.

FLEGT takes a multidimensional, coherent approach to overcoming the complex drivers and enablers of illegal logging. The EU FLEGT Action Plan sets out seven measures that together prevent the importation of illegal timber into the EU, improve the supply of legal timber and increase demand for timber from responsibly managed forests.

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