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Risk Score
37.7
Risk Profile
Medium Risk
Conflict State
No
Import Regulation
No
Legality Risks Click for details on legality risks
  • China’s domestic supply of industrial wood has failed to keep up with its industrial manufacturing capacity. To meet this deficit, China relies on significant volumes of wood product imports. Logging in China’s natural forests is prohibited, and domestic plantation-grown raw material (primarily poplar, eucalyptus, masson pine, and Chinese fir) are generally considered low-risk. 
  • Many similar temperate natural forest species are found in the Russian Far East, North America (U.S. and Canada), northern / eastern Europe and northern China, such as oak. There is a demonstrated risk of laundering high-risk Russian Far East and Ukrainian species and falsely declaring them as having been harvested in northern Europe, North America or even China (pre-2017). 
  • More than half of the timber used in Chinese-made wood products has been imported from other countries – both from high- and low-risk sources.
  • China does not currently require traceability of wood products through its supply chain. The size and nature of the processing industry means that timber is regularly mixed from multiple sources with no obligation to trace back along the supply chain. This may change soon pending the forthcoming Implementing Regulations for China’s 2019 Forest Law, or further National Forest and Grasslands Administration (NFGA) departmental rules based on the 2019 Forest Law.
  • Enforcement actions in the European Union (EU) and U.S. have demonstrated the risk of illegal timber, laundering and species mis-declaration on products manufactured in China.

Read more by downloading the China Timber Legality Risk Dashboard here.

Latest Updates Click for latest news from China
August 1, 2022

On 1 June, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) issued a new set of green guidelines. These lay out detailed expectations for banks and insurance companies to identify, monitor, prevent and control their environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks.

The new Green Finance Guidelines are a positive step forward, especially in their potential to divert finance away from not-so-green businesses. But can they help shift the billions that Chinese banks and other investors put into companies linked to the destruction of climate-critical forests?

More...
May 19, 2022

Between May 2020 and March 2022, China imported from Mali 220,000 trees’ worth —148,000 tons — of a type of rosewood known as kosso despite a ban on its harvest and trade in the troubled West Africa nation, a report released Wednesday by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) found.

 

More...
March 8, 2022

Wildlife trafficking from Mexico to China receives little attention, but it is growing and threatens biodiversity. Moreover, while the connections between wildlife trafficking and drug cartels are sometimes exaggerated, in Mexico, wildlife trafficking, drug trafficking, and money laundering have become intertwined. Attracted by China’s enormous appetite for wildlife products and in contact with Chinese traders supplying precursor chemicals for the production of illegal fentanyl and methamphetamine, Mexican drug cartels are increasingly muscling their way into the country’s legal and illegal wildlife trade.

More...
June 11, 2022

China’s forays into Africa’s huge forest resources and indulgence in illegal trade disregarding the environment could lead to a disaster of monumental proportions.

A recent investigative report by international NGO Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has claimed that China’s illegal imports of rosewood has led to massive devastation of Malian forests besides serving as a conduit for ivory smuggling. Western African state of Mali has become one of China’s leading rosewood suppliers .

More...
August 27, 2022

VIETNAM, August 27 – HÀ NỘI — The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has not yet issued the final determination on the imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on certain hardwood plywood products and veneered panels exported from Việt Nam.

The Việt Nam Timber and Forest Products Association (VIFOREST) has confirmed that the DOC on April 15 extended the deadline to issue a final determination to October 17.

The DOC initiated the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation on hardwood plywood from Việt Nam on June 17, 2020, to enforce the trade remedies measures on Chinese hardwood plywood.

The US is currently applying anti-dumping of 183.36 per cent and anti-subsidy duties from 22.98 per cent to 194.9 per cent on hardwood plywood products from China.

On July 25, DOC announced its preliminary determination that hardwood plywood exported from Việt Nam, which was assembled in Việt Nam using hardwood plywood imports sourced from China, were products of China and were subject to the anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty orders on hardwood plywood from China.

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August 3, 2022

Timber Trade Federation (TTF) issued import warning for TTF-members on birch plywood from the Far East.

“It has been nearly six months since Russia’s awful invasion of Ukraine, with few signs the conflict is going to abate anytime soon.

Though grain exports began to leave Ukraine this week for the first time since the war began, international sanctions on Russia remain very much in place.

Along with maritime sanctions and restrictions on Russian payments, the most significant sanction for our industry is the Russian timber import ban.

More...
Publications Click for publications related to China
La demanda mundial de madera balsa se ha disparado en los últimos años, impulsada por el aumento de la demanda de energía eólica renovable a medida que el mundo intenta abandonar los combustibles fósiles. La madera balsa, blanda y ligera, es uno de los materiales preferidos para las aspas de las turbinas de viento. Los […]
Global demand for balsa wood has skyrocketed over the last several years, driven by rising demand for renewable wind energy as the world attempts to transition away from fossil fuels. Soft and lightweight, balsa wood is one of the preferred core materials for wind turbine blades. The volumes of balsa now traded on international markets […]
This paper assesses China’s forest product imports from FLEGT VPA countries and exports to the European Union (EU) plus European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) Member States between 2010-2019, set within the context of overall trade and market dynamics driving China’s supply and demand for forest products. We demonstrate that following China’s closure of its own[…]
The term “rosewood” is used to designate several hundred species of tropical timber, found across West and Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. 29 species are officially designated as hongmu (红木) under China’s National Hongmu Standard (2017). The Standard can be legally enforced in relation to product marketing claims, and has played a key[…]
This paper assesses China’s forest product imports from FLEGT VPA countries and exports to the EU between 2007-2017, set within the context of China’s overall trade and market dynamics driving supply and demand for forest products. The report shows how China’s closure of its own forests from harvesting has triggered a rise in imported forest products,[…]
China has imported more than 46 million cubic meters of logs from countries with log export bans from 2005 to 2016. Many of these imports are in violation of log export bans (LEBs) and present a risk to Chinese companies – and their down-stream buyers of processed wood products in North America and Europe – that these logs are illegally sourced. […]
This Information Brief explores some of the anticipated economic and ecological implications of the forthcoming expansion of restrictions on commercial logging in China’s natural forests.
Ce document examine les évolutions récentes du commerce chinois de bois de rose en s’appuyant sur les données d’importation des douanes chinoises entre 2000 et 2014. Il résume les publications existantes qui font état de violations généralisées de la législation et de la réglementation nationales en matière de récolte et de commerce de bois de […]
China’s demand for rosewood – used for classical Chinesestyle furniture and décor – is threatening some of the world’s most valuable and endangered old-growth forests. Chinese furniture manufacturers’ imports of several species of rosewood, collectively known as hongmu, have soared at an unprecedented rate since 2010 and hit an all-time high in 2014, according to […]
Key Resources
Click here for a collection of Forest Trends publications related to IDAT Risk, including the full set of Timber Legality Risk Country Dashboards.
Methodology
Click here to download the Methodology which includes information on data sources, the methodology used to create risk indicators, and a glossary of key terms.
Timber Data Tool
Click here to access the Global Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (ILAT) Risk assessment tool and to download the Forest Trends User Guide describing the functionality of the ILAT Risk Data Tool.
Export Restrictions
Click here to download a database of forest policy export restrictions.