Legislation and other initiatives for legal timber trade in China


The 2019 revision of China's Forest Law explicitly prohibited the handling of timber known to originate from illegal logging. This report analyses the state of implementation of this law based on interviews with some experts in China including government officers, an industry association and NGOs, as well as seminars, various websites, and publications.

Although an Implementation Regulation for the revised Forest Law has not yet been issued, the law has already been put into practice by combining the Implementation Regulation enacted in 2018 and the administrative discretion of provinces. Administrative penalties for the procurement of illegally harvested timber in the country have already been imposed. It is also recognized that the scope of such penalties includes imported timber.

Yet, the revised Forest Law does not indicate clear criteria concerning the extent to which due diligence should be conducted to determine whether timber procured comes from illegal logging or not. It also remains unclear whether such standards will be clarified in the future.