Vietnamese Timber Suppliers Learn About Lacey Act

A worldwide crackdown on the illegal timber trade is underway, as the US launched a workshop to update Vietnamese timber suppliers on revisions to the Lacey Act. It took place on the 23rd August in Hanoi.

The Lacey Act is a piece of US legislation which was introduced in 1900 to prevent the transportation of illegally captured wildlife across state lines. Its most recent amendment came in June 2008 when Congress agreed to extend the Act to timber products. It is the first law of its kind to prohibit the import, sale or trade of illegally harvested wood into the United States. Companies importing timber products will now need their Asian suppliers to understand their role in ensuring compliance with the revised regulations.

WWF’s Global Forest and Trade Network became involved in the event along with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Alongside Vietnamese issues, the combating of illegal timber trafficking was a high priority.

Earlier this year EU leaders reached an agreement on a law which will criminalise illegal timber trading and oblige all EU member states to impose strict financial penalties on law-breakers. This comes after research into the extent of the problem showed that around 40% of the world’s wood production comes from illegally robbed forests. Despite the UK’s “green” policy over 10% of timber entering the country is of unknown origin. This is a problem which not only damages the eco-system and contributes to climate change, but drives down local employment and creates problems for local communities which rely on logging.

At present Vietnam is the largest trader of furniture in the US, and make around $3 billion yearly from this market, meaning it is crucial to ensure their products are legitimate. Vietnam are set to profit massively from their cooperation however, as illegitimate loggers will be eradicated from the market, leaving room for legitimate companies to increase their sales.

Visit the timber suppliers Oregon Canadian for a range of softwood timber products.

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