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Forests

Regulating the Trade in Illegal Timber: Republic of Korea Update

State of Play October 2018

By Jade Saunders and Marigold Norman
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In August 2018, the Government of the Republic of Korea released national Detailed Standards for Determining the Legality of Imported Timber and Timber Products to support implementation of the Revised Act on the Sustainable Use of Timbers.  The Act mandates that all companies comply with these implementing standards starting October 1, 2018. The implementing standards provide detailed information on the products covered by the provisions and the type of information the Korea Forest Service will accept as evidence of legal harvest.

This brief synthesizes the latest available information (as of October 2018) on the recent legislative developments in the Republic of Korea. The information is based on documentary analysis and a questionnaire. This brief also reviews the background of the legislative developments and considers the likely impact of the provisions and implementing standards. It argues that to be considered an effective and robust system, the current Detailed Standards for Determining the Legality of Imported Timber and Timber Products should be amended to widen the regulated product scope and tighten standards for evidence of legality.