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Governmental Regulations for Wood Products

Increasingly, governments are strengthening the legal frameworks that regulate the trade of wood and wood products. In the United States, for example, an amendment to the Lacey Act was passed in May 2008, prohibiting the trade of illegally sourced plants or plant products -- including all wood and items made with wood. The amendment also calls for increased transparency and requires importers to declare the species, country of origin, and other related information of these products.


The European Union's (EU's) Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) encourages businesses to adopt purchasing policies that exclude illegal timber from their supply chains and promotes the implementation of sound public procurement policies by its member states. Thus far, the FLEGT plan has operated through Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) between individual EU states and selected producing countries. However, a proposal has been made to the European Commission that would establish regulations to govern the import and trade of wood and wood products within the EU.

The Rainforest Alliance has developed standards and procedures for independent third party verification of wood legality.

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