Laws & Policies

The causes of illegal logging are varied and complex. Over the past decade, a growing number of consumer countries have taken steps to prohibit trade in illegally harvested timber and forest products, encourage the trade of legal wood, and to support the enforcement of forest laws in the country of origin.

These initiatives take different approaches to illegally harvested timber, but they all share the same aim: to prohibit trade in illegal timber, and to shift consumer demand, and thus production, to legal forest products through the power of market access and potential penalties. Major consumer-side laws related to illegal logging and associated trade include the plant provisions of the U.S. Lacey Act, the European Union Timber Regulation, and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act; and more recently the Korea Act on the Sustainable Use of Timbers, the Japan Clean Wood Act, and the UK Timber Regulation.