The EU Timber Regulation is one of the key measures of the European Union to combat illegal logging. The analysis of the wood imports describes the efficiency of this regulation.
Illegal Logging is one of the major global causes for deforestation and the degradation of forests. The further manufacturing of illegally logged wood and products made thereof as well as the associated trade has also negative social and economic effects on both sides of the wood markets, the producer and consumer countries.
One of the key measures of the European Union (EU) to combat illegal logging is the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). The EUTR came into effect on March 1, 2013 and it prohibits the placing of wood and wood products made of illegally logged wood on the EU internal market.
But for what kind of products does the regulation apply exactly? The EUTR refers to its Annex where a list is provided with respective commodities. The main focus is laid on wood and articles of wood, on pulp of wood and on paper and paperboard and articles made thereof. Additionally commodity codes for furniture and one code for prefabricated buildings are listed. However, as certain wood-based products are not included in the EUTR, the question arises, how many wood-based products are not covered by the EUTR. What is the coverage ratio of the EUTR if we are looking at all wood-based products?
Our results show that approximately 90 % of the imported quantities and three quarters of the imported values are covered by the EUTR. This means, the EU imported in 2013 a wood quantity of 17 million m3 (measured in roundwood equivalent and 6 million m³ measured in wood fibre equivalent, respectively) or a value of nearly 8 billion Euro respectively, that is not covered by the EUTR. This quantity is almost equally distributed between wood products and paper products. The coverage ratios for further differentiated product groups differ. Typically raw materials have a higher coverage ratio and finished products have a lower coverage ratio. The wood quantities that are not covered by EUTR are highly concentrated on few commodities like wood charcoal, articles of wood, recovered paper, printed books and brochures.