If you are looking for EIA UK, it's over here.

Forest Liquidators & Timber Smugglers: The Full Story

How an EIA investigation regarding the Lacey Act led to the first criminal sentence and millions of dollars in fines for North America’s largest hardwood flooring retailer.

In February 2016, for the first time in history, a major U.S. corporation was sentenced for committing a criminal felony for smuggling wood into the United States, related to violations of the Lacey Act. Years prior, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) was the first to investigate and reveal the purchasing practices of Lumber Liquidators, the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in the United States. EIA’s investigation showed that Lumber Liquidators purchased solid oak flooring from Chinese manufacturers made from illegally harvested timber from the Russian Far East, endangering the forests, people and wildlife of the region, including the last remaining wild populations of the Siberian tiger. The resulting prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) ensured that Lumber Liquidators faced very real consequences for its actions: in addition to plummeting share value and millions of dollars in fines, the company was placed on a five-year probation period and has been required to implement a Lacey Act Compliance Plan, verifying that all wood imports into the United States are from legal sources. If Lumber Liquidators fails to comply, it will have to discontinue all wood imports.

EIA’s briefing, Facing the Consequences for Liquidating the Forests, tells the full story behind this first criminal felony sentence related to the Lacey Act, which will have important implications for the U.S. forest products sector and beyond. The facts of the Lumber Liquidators’ case should serve as a caution and a guide to other U.S. importers about the need to practice careful Due Care when buying timber products through China’s complex and obscure supply chains.

Ultimately, this case shows the necessity for China to follow the example of other countries and implement legislation against illegal timber harvest and trade in order to remain competitive in a changing global marketplace.

Illegal logging in the Russian Far East is of particular concern because the forests are home to the last 450 wild Siberian tigers. The Lumber Liquidators case was investigated jointly by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by the Department of Justice under the name “Operation Oakenshield.”

View all Reports

Recent Blog Posts

Commemorating Ten Years Combatting Illicit Timber Trade and Forest Crime
05/22/2018
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the 2008 U.S. Lacey Act Amendments – landmark legislation aimed at halting the destructive and criminal practice of illegal logging.
“War on Timber” in Gabon: It Is Time to Win It
03/21/2018
Documentary presents the level of illegality that has plagued the Gabonese timber sector in great detail.

Recent Reports

Destino China: resumen complementario al informe Momento de la Verdad
02/14/2018
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
02/07/2018
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
02/07/2018
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
02/07/2018
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
02/16/2017
EIA's series of videos exposing Holzindustrie Schweighofer's involvement in illegal logging in Romania,
The 'S' Files, Case #3: Depot Deception
12/21/2016
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...
Follow us @eiaenvironment on twitter for the latest updates!