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 Reports

Letter To FSC Board of Directors regarding Holzindustrie Schweighofer
02/07/2017
EIA has written a letter To the FSC Board of Directors regarding Holzindustrie Schweighofer
FSC Policy for Association complaint - WWF Germany vs. Holzindustrie Schweighofer
12/07/2016
A report published by the FSC complaint panel. WWF Germany vs. Holzindustrie Schweighofer

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!
How the U.S. Lacey Act Protects the Planet
The precedent-setting U.S. Lacey Act supports honest industry and protects the planet.
Holzindustrie Schweighofer & Illegal Timber
Lumber Liquidators pleads guilty to smuggling timber
Lumber Liquidators in the Russian Far East
Musicians and the Illegal Timber Trade