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USTR Timber Verification Request Echoes EIA's Concerns About Traceability in Peru

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) took action yesterday under the US – Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA), calling on the Peruvian government to verify that three 2017 timber shipments from Peru to the United States complied with all applicable Peruvian laws and regulations. This action comes at a time when Peru has demonstrably failed to fulfill its commitments to improve supply chain traceability and transparency of timber products and has instead significantly reduced the quality and quantity of information gathered at the point of export.

People in Peru and throughout the Amazon are risking their lives to protect their forests, so it is essential that timber-consuming countries do whatever they can to ensure they are not perpetuating illegalities - and in many cases systemic violence and corruption - by importing stolen wood. This is especially important at a time in which the Peruvian government has taken steps to reduce transparency in its timber sector.

In its latest report, the Moment of Truth, EIA exposed the systematic exports of illegal timber from Peru to countries around the world, as well as efforts by certain industry and government actors to make real traceability almost impossible. One of the recommendations in the report is for the US government to request additional audits under the PTPA of operators with a proven history of exporting illegal timber. The report also described a scheme in which Peruvian exporters seem to be selectively shipping “green listed” timber (i.e. accompanied by documents linked to verified legal sources) to countries that have demand side laws designed to stop illegal timber trade, like the US, while shipping “red listed” high risk timber (accompanied by documents linked to sources with verified illegalities) to countries that do not have such demand side laws, like China and Mexico.

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Recent Blog Posts

“War on Timber” in Gabon: It Is Time to Win It
Documentary presents the level of illegality that has plagued the Gabonese timber sector in great detail.
Time for FSC to Embrace Traceability, Transparency and Technology
In a new article in Yale360, renowned environmental writer Richard Conniff identifies fundamental problems facing the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification group. Unfortunately, in too many parts of the world, organizations such as the FSC are merely certifying the status quo.

Recent Reports

Destino China: resumen complementario al informe Momento de la Verdad
El reciente informe de EIA, El Momento de la Verdad mostró que la ilegalidad y el fraude son generalizados en todo el sector maderero peruano, y que una gran parte de la madera talada ilegalmente se exporta a decenas de países. En “Destino China: resumen complementario al informe Momento de la Verdad”, EIA parte de los mismos datos y análisis para destacar el mayor mercado de destino para las exportaciones de madera ilegal de Perú: China.
Moment of Truth: Promise or Peril for the Amazon as Peru Confronts its Illegal Timber Trade
EIA’s new report describes important advances since 2012 in Peru’s fight against illegal logging, timber laundering, and its associated international trade – as well as the backlash against these new approaches.

Recent Press Releases

Peru's Fight Against Illegal Timber Trade at Risk as Authorities Weaken Rules and Regulations
Peruvian forest authorities are weakening the tools and inspections necessary to prevent illegal timber trade, in the face of overwhelming evidence that Peru’s exports to the United States, China, Mexico and 15 other countries contained high percentages of illegal or high-risk wood. Moment of Truth, a new report from the non-profit Environmental Investigation Agency, demonstrates the extent of this illegal trade and the backlash against attempts to fight it.
Retrocesos en Regulaciones e Inspecciones Debilitan La Lucha Del Perú Contra el Comercio de Madera Ilegal
Las autoridades forestales peruanas están debilitando las herramientas e inspecciones necesarias para prevenir el comercio de madera ilegal, ante una abrumadora evidencia de que las exportaciones del Perú a Estados Unidos, China, México y otros 15 países incluyeron altos porcentajes de madera ilegal o de alto riesgo. El Momento de la Verdad, un nuevo informe de investigación de la ONG internacional Agencia de Investigación Ambiental (EIA – Environmental Investigation Agency), demuestra los alcances de este tráfico ilegal y las reacciones en contra de las acciones para combatirlo.

Recent Videos

The 'S' Files
EIA's series of videos exposing Holzindustrie Schweighofer's involvement in illegal logging in Romania,
The 'S' Files, Case #3: Depot Deception
The latest in EIA's video series, The 'S' Files, Depot Deception shows that Holzindustrie Schweighofer, one of the largest timber companies in Europe, appears to be systematically...
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