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Risk Score
65.0
Risk Profile
Higher Risk
Conflict State
No
Log Export Restriction
Yes
Other Timber Export Restrictions
Yes
Import Regulation
No
Latest Updates Click for latest news from India
May 27, 2024
13 Indians Lured into Illegal Work in Laos Rescured

This media report highlights human trafficking into Laos. The Indian Embassy in Laos specifically mentions links to mining and timber factories.

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May 25, 2024
Myanmar’s Teak Surge: Why Italy is EU’s Smuggling Hotspot

The Irrawaddy River is a flashpoint for conflict timber, with more than 100 tons—and sometimes up to 300 tons—of teak and other species leaving Myanmar ports every week.

The teak is then traded into Western Markets (including Italy, teak’s entry point into the EU) via China, India and Indonesia, with proceeds used to fuel both sides of the conflict.

Yesterday, Mynamar officials announced that more than 1,600 tons of teak (more than 250 tonnes a week) had been confiscated over the past six weeks, in a major escalation in the trade across borders. And that is just the timber, deemed “illegal” by the junta-controlled government – with the hidden trade in teak booming amongst the junta’s allies.

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May 23, 2024
Forest Protection Force, Forest dept seize illegally loaded chinar timber

With little information about illegal logging within India itself in the press, this article is short but outlays the entities responsible for enforcement. The Forest Protection Force (FPF) Ganderbal along with the Forest Department and Sonamarg Police, seized an LP truck loaded with chinar tree timber in the Sonamarg area of Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

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May 13, 2024
UNODC World Wildlife Crime Report 2024 case study on rosewood

UNODC’s 2024 World Wildlife Crime Report has a case study on the illegal trade in rosewood, with a focus on Nigeria. Major players in the case study include China, India, Singapore, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Brazil, Vietnam and Ghana.

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May 4, 2024
Assam Rifles clarifies Myanmar-Indian border processes for timber

Alittle bit of background information on Myhanmar – India border controls on timber trade: A statement by the Public Relations Officer, Headquarters IGAR (South) stated, ‘In the absence of the Free Movement Regime (FMR), any movement of any good including timber across the IMB is illegal.

Timber originating from Myanmar is subject to stringent regulations mandating passage through the Integrated Check Post, Moreh to fulfil custom duties.

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May 4, 2024
AR issues rebuttal against harassment by local timber transporters

Assam Rifles issued a rebuttal to allegations of harassment by local timber transporters, emphasizing compliance with regulations and their commitment to upholding directives from the Central and State government regarding border security and cross-border trade.

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April 11, 2024
Indo-Pacific’s Great Game: India & China Vie for Grip on Timber

India is expanding its network of overseas ports, expanding its tentacles on regional timber supply chains and following China’s playbook to exert economic influence across the Indo-Pacific.

The two regional superpowers are now engaging in a new great game, with China targeting new ports in Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Bangladesh to add to its extensive land and ocean port network.

Yesterday, India Ports Global (IPGL), spearheading India’s new overseas port network, gained rights to operate a new international port, Sittwe, in Myanmar. The junta-controlled government gave the company the keys to a significant timber-producing port on the Kaladan River.

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March 19, 2024
Seizure of half million USD worth of timber seized at India - Myanmar border

Assam Rifles troops seized a significant amount of timber worth Rs 4.88 crore (about US$ 587,840) at the Manipur-Myanmar border. 50,603 cubic feet (CFT), is believed to have originated in Myanmar.

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March 14, 2024
Climate change brews trouble for tea industry, but circular solutions await

As global tea demand grows by over 2% annually, the pressure on land for cultivation may lead to increased deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, further intensifying the impacts of climate change. Once tea is plucked it must go through various stages of processing, including withering and drying: energy-intensive processes that often use vast amounts of wood or, in some cases, fossil fuels such as coal. This not only results in CO2 emissions, but also has the potential for “hidden deforestation” for wood to burn.

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February 12, 2024
India’s Tiger Economy to Fuel Global Timber Supply for Years to Come

Last year, Wood Central reported that Indian demand for Roundwood will grow 70%, from 57 million cubic metres in 2020 to 98 million cubic metres in 2030, driven to a large degree by a surge in construction activity.

According to the Indian Centre for Science and Environment, the country’s 2022 demand for timber was 63 million cubic metres – 30 million cubic metres for domestic production and 33 million cubic metres from imported sources. The race to make up the shortfall has seen India compete with China to become the world’s largest consumer market for structural timbers, with the Modi Government grappling with a 19 million unit shortage in housing, which will double over the next five years.

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October 28, 2023
Australia’s trade with Myanmar military junta growing, despite sanctions, and through China and India

Mon Zin, a founding member of the Global Myanmar Spring Revolution, told the Green Left and Socialist Alliance forum that timber and wood imports increased between 2020–21.

 

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September 29, 2023
India’s Soaring Timber Demand is Ready for Liftoff

Since India lifted a 27-year ban on using timber in public buildings, the country is now the world’s largest consumer of wood for residential construction.

According to the Indian Centre for Science and Environment, the country’s annual demand for wood is 63 million cubic metres – 30 million cubic metres for domestic production and 33 million cubic metres from imported sources.

 

As reported in July, India is emerging as a leader in global afforestation and has now set a target to restore 26 million hectares of forest land. In addition, the country plans to create 2.5-3 billion tonnes of additional carbon sinks.

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September 13, 2023
New Global Witness report: Standing firm The Land and Environmental Defenders on the frontlines of the climate crisis

For the past 11 years, Global Witness has documented and denounced waves of threats, violence and killings of land and environmental defenders across the world, and 2022 marks the beginning of our second decade documenting lethal attacks. The world has changed dramatically since we started documenting these in 2012. But one thing that has not changed is the relentlessness of the killings.

Last year, at least 177 defenders lost their lives for protecting our planet, bringing the total number of killings to 1,910 since 2012. At least 1,390 of these killings took place between the adoption of the Paris Agreement on 12 December 2015 and 31 December 2022.

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June 7, 2023
ED cracks down on illegal mining, trade in wildlife

The ED has begun a crackdown against syndicates involved in environmental crimes, including illegal mining of natural resources and smuggling of wildlife parts. The agency said it has taken up a probe into 17 cases related to environmental crimes, and 42 specifically related to wildlife.

The agency also started booking syndicates engaged in plundering of natural resources under the money laundering act. This includes illegal mining of coal, sand and other natural resources. There have been cases of illegal logging, wildlife and environment related cases.

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May 23, 2023
Myannar-India Trade: Operationalisation of Sittwe port and the way forward

With opening of the new Sittwe port on May 9, 2023, located at the Kaladan river delta, trade between Myanmar and India is likely to get a boost. Exports from India to Myanmar through this new shipping route may include construction materials such as cement, steel and bricks, among others, whereas India’s imports from Myanmar would be rice, timber, fish and seafood.

 

The new port opens an alternate sea route for the north-eastern part of India through Myanmar.

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May 18, 2023
EU’s deforestation regulation set to affect exports of 479 agriculture items from India

The EU Deforestation Regulation (EU-DR), adopted by the EU Council earlier this month, covers about 479 items exported by India such as meat, leather hide, wood furniture, paper and coffee, and is set to affect Indian exports worth an estimated annual $1.3 billion.

 

The significant products affected and their export value to the EU are Coffee (USD 435.4 million), Leather hides, skin, preparations (USD 83.5 million), Oil cake (USD 174.5 million), Paper, paperboard (USD 250.2 million) and Wood furniture (USD 334.6 million). This is estimated by a Delhi-based research firm Global Trade Research Initiative.

 

The report suggested the government take a few steps to deal with the regulation and that includes taking up the matter with the World Trade Organization (WTO) along with other affected countries as it violates MFN (most favoured nation) and national treatment principles. “India has a functioning blockchain-enabled trace and track system being implemented by the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) for grape exports to the EU and other regions.”

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May 12, 2023
MALAYSIAN ENVIRONMENTAL AUDITING SCHEME UNDER SCRUTINY FOR IGNORING LABOR VIOLATIONS

The revelations mirror Deforestation Inc. findings from around the world, which showed how auditing firms hired as environmental verifiers often ignore or fail to identify serious transgressions by their clients.

 

Audit firms in Finland, Indonesia, Chile, India, and Germany are also mentioned.

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April 30, 2023
U.S. hardwood lumber to India jumped significantly, with certification requirements listed as a factor

U.S. hardwood exports to India reached an all-time high in 2022 with the value of hardwood lumber and veneer exports totaling USD 8.618 million, according to AHEC.

 

Exports of U.S. hardwood lumber to India jumped significantly last year to reach an all-time high, and beating the record set in 2021, indicating far more than just a post-COVID recovery. Increasing certification requirements, and both the restricted and deteriorating quality of supply of domestic species is driving Indian furniture manufacturers to look at viable alternative hardwood species not only for the domestic furniture and interiors market, but also for re-exports of value-added products.

 

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March 31, 2023
Indonesia's Minister of Industry discusses domestic and non-traditional export markets for furniture

Indonesia’s furniture and crafts exports reached US$2.8 billion in 2022 and the government hopes that exports will increase to US$5 billion in 2024.

 

The Ministry of Industry has two strategies to improve profitability in the sector. First, greater emphasis on the domestic market as the size of this market, especially the middle class segment, continues to expand. The second is exports to non-traditional markets for example India and the Middle East where growth in the property sector is relatively stable.

 

The Indonesian Furniture and Craft Association (HIMKI) chairman, Abdul Sobur, revealed that exports to the EU declined in 2022 so HIMKI members are now investigating the Middle East markets such as Qatar, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

 

 

 

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March 27, 2023
Illegal logging surges in Myanmar’s conflict zones, with sanctions pushing smugglers to open new routes to India

Logging has accelerated amid the post-coup conflict, with sanctions pushing smugglers to open new routes to India, while activists and locals accuse both the military and resistance groups of profiting off the plunder.

 

Fighting has broken out across Myanmar since the military overthrew the elected National League for Democracy, with the worst violence reported in Sagaing Region, where anti-regime People’s Defence Forces have carved out rural strongholds. Based on interviews with residents, Frontier understands illegal logging has surged in Kani, Yinmabin, Kantbalu, Indaw and Banmauk townships in Sagaing, as well as in parts of Bago Region, where the junta has more control.

 

Local environmental activists, PDF members and ordinary residents told Frontier that most of the timber is being smuggled to China and, more recently, India.

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March 9, 2023
Illegal Timber Sales with Fake Bills and Fake Firms in Uttarakhand: GST Dept reveals Tax Evasion of Crores

This article highlights the result of investigations by the Uttarakhand (in norther India) Goods and Services (GST) Department on illegal timber sales using false bills, the setting up of fictitious businesses to cover up the illegal sale and purchase of timber and its products, tax evasion,  giving  legal cover to raw materials bought from the black market.

Furthermore, the nexus was involved in transferring fraudulent input tax credits to Uttar Pradesh, and Yamunanagar in Haryana on the basis of paper trading by producing phoney invoices and without really supplying any items to those locations.

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March 7, 2023
From Taiwan to Turkey and beyond: How Deforestation Inc exposed the teak trade from Myanmar

Deforestation Inc. reporters in a dozen countries investigated weak government efforts and loopholes allowing companies to keep trading Myanmar teak, a natural resource controlled by the military junta.

 

The Deforestation Inc. investigation by ICIJ and its 39 partners found that timber traders in three continents have continued to import Myanmar teak by the ton to supply shipbuilders and furniture manufacturers around the world, while consumers may be unwittingly financing the junta’s repressive campaign.

 

The reporters visited boat shows in Fort Lauderdale, Amsterdam and Paris to learn about the international teak market. They interviewed timber traders in 11 countries and pored over documents leaked from Myanmar’s tax agency and shared with ICIJ by Justice for Myanmar, a human rights group, U.K.-based news outlet Finance Uncovered and Distributed Denial of Secrets, a data transparency group.

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Cases from Slovenia, Croatia, USA, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, Turkey, Taiwan, France, and India are included.

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March 3, 2023
The IndianExpress interviews Indian traders on the challenges of importing from Myanmar

The Indian Express spoke to traders located in Myanmar and India who say the conflict on the ground and frequent change of regulations by Myanmar authorities pose challenges. The article summarizes why Myanmar teak is so highly prized, international laws and regulations that are prohibiting the sale in Myanmar timber products, and loopholes that could endanger India’s exports of timber products manufactured from Myanmar wood.

 

Traders claim that some Myanmar wood was purchased before the 2021 coup. Trade data also reveals some Indian companies simply put “Asia” in the column for origin of the wood, without specifying which country. Traders also write “imported” on transit passes in the space for declaring where the teak was purchased from.

 

Traders interviewed noted that their buyers were free to do DNA testing on the hardwood for traceability of origins. However, this science has not been introduced in India either by timber traders or by police forces, for instance, as evidence against smugglers who are frequently caught along the Indo-Myanmar border with stolen truck consignments.

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February 3, 2023
UNEP-managed CITES database reveals red sanders smuggling in India

There is a clear discrepancy in the reporting of the trade in the endangered species by the exporting and importing countries, says wildlife trade monitoring organisation TRAFFIC.

 

These consignments were exported to China (53.5%), Hong Kong (25.0%), Singapore (17.8%) and the United States of America (3.5%) from 2016 to 2020.

 

The species is under severe pressure from illegal logging and harvesting. Under the foreign trade policy of India, the import of Red Sanders is prohibited, while export is restricted.

 

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November 21, 2022
India gets rules for export of Rosewood products relaxed during CITES meet in Panama, move to help artisans and exporters

NEW DELHI: In what could be a relief for handicraft exporters, India has got rules for export of timber-based products made of Shisham or North India Rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo) eased under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES) during its ongoing meeting in Panama.

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April 4, 2022
Assam: Illegal sawmill busted at Dibrugarh, timber worth Rs 1 lakh seized

The Assam forest department officials on Monday busted an illegal bench mill at Mohanbari in Dibrugarh. According to a forests official, a modern machine which was used for cutting timber and a huge quantity of timber were seized during the raid.

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March 21, 2022
Illegal timber seized

The forest personnel immediately seized more than 35 pieces of valuable timber, sources said, adding that the timber was smuggled from Karbi Anglong by forest mafia.

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March 15, 2022
Arunachal to hold meeting with Assam on illegal tree felling in forests along border

Arunachal Pradesh minister Mama Natung on Tuesday informed the Assembly that the state forest department will soon convene a meeting with its counterpart in Assam for evolving a mechanism to check rampant illegal felling of trees by timber mafias in jungles along the border of the two North-eastern neighbours.

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January 17, 2022
India State of Forest Report Says Arunachal Pradesh Losing its Primary Forests at Large Scale Every Year

The India State of Forest Report 2021 has vindicated what activists, lawyers and academicians have been saying all along—Arunachal Pradesh, which is the second-largest forested state in India, is losing its primary forests and that too at a large scale every passing year.

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September 7, 2021
Once a rainforest treasure, deforestation spikes in Northeast India

The Northeast is India’s greenest region, accounting for one-fourth of the country’s forest cover. However, recent increases in deforestation now threaten the region’s pristine biodiversity.

The rate of deforestation in India’s Northeast has increased sharply over a span of 18 years, according to data from the online monitoring platform Global Forest Watch collated by the University of Maryland.

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Publications Click for publications related to India
This report document’s India’s role in the global timber supply chain, with a particular focus on the extent to which India’s furniture and handicrafts industries’ high demand for wood products from around the world may be driving India’s imports of illegally harvested wood. India’s rapidly expanding furniture manufacturing industries are setting their sights on close […]
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.
Data Tools

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.

Click here to access the Cattle Data Tool.

Export Restrictions
Click here to download a database of forest policy export restrictions.