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Forests 2015, 6(10), 3452-3482; doi:10.3390/f6103452

Legality Constraints: The Emergence of a Dual Market for Tropical Timber Products?

1
TeSAF Department, University of Padova, Viale dell'Università 16, Legnaro (PD) 35020, Italy
2
CIFOR, Centre for International Forestry Research, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Thomas J. Straka and Eric J. Jokela
Received: 3 July 2015 / Revised: 12 August 2015 / Accepted: 21 September 2015 / Published: 30 September 2015
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Abstract

The European Union (EU), the United States of America (USA), and Australia have adopted specific measures to avoid the placing of illegal timber on their markets. These measures might encourage the diversion of timber products from traditional large importers to destinations with a less stringent regulatory framework. During 2001–2013, the international trade in tropical primary timber products (logs; sawnwood; veneers and plywood) decreased by 13% in volume and increased by almost 5% in value. Imports by Australia, the EU, and the USA halved, while those by emerging economies such as China and India initially remained stable and later increased. Tropical timber products—mostly logs and sawnwood—might have been diverted towards emerging economies over the period considered. This general trend is confirmed when analyzing imports from countries that are implementing voluntary partnership agreements (VPA) within the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. Several factors might influence these market dynamics, including changes induced by the 2008 financial crisis and the increasing domestic demand for timber products by emerging nations. The effects of legality measures on market trends are still unclear. Nonetheless, they might have encouraged uncertainty with regards to traditional importers and favored emerging ones. View Full-Text
Keywords: illegal logging; timber trade; tropical timber; market diversion; legality standards; emerging economies; EUTR; Lacey Act; Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act; FLEGT illegal logging; timber trade; tropical timber; market diversion; legality standards; emerging economies; EUTR; Lacey Act; Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act; FLEGT
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Masiero, M.; Pettenella, D.; Cerutti, P.O. Legality Constraints: The Emergence of a Dual Market for Tropical Timber Products? Forests 2015, 6, 3452-3482.

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