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New briefing compares Japan’s Clean Wood Act with the EU Timber Regulation

The EU FLEGT Facility has published a briefing that compares two regulatory approaches that aim to prevent trade in illegally-harvested timber and timber products: Japan’s Clean Wood Act and the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

Stockpiles of unused pulpwood, predominately Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica), along with Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora) and with some hardwood species on the upper logyard of a Japanese biomass power plant.

The EUTR is a mandatory piece of legislation and EU Member States lay down the penalties applicable to EUTR infringements. In the Japanese Clean Wood Act, operators voluntarily register as a way of being recognised by the Government of Japan for taking steps to verify the legality of timber and timber products.

The regimes also differ in their scope, definitions, due diligence approaches, measures for verifying compliance, penalties and support to implementation — as illustrated in the briefing’s annex.

The briefing entitled “A comparison of the Japanese Clean Wood Act and the EU Timber Regulation” suggests ways Japan could further develop the Clean Wood Act and calls for closer cooperation between Japan and international markets.


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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