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COUNTRY GUIDE TO TIMBER LEGALITY: CHINA
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1 China background 3
1.1 Overview of Chinese forest resource 3
1.2 Administrative and legislative context 5
1.3 China's timber processing sector 6
1.3.1 Imports 7
1.3.2 Processing 8
1.3.3 Exports 9
1.4 Key issues/complexities to consider in China 10
2 Actions 12
2.1 Actions for timber producers in China 13
2.2 Actions for timber processors 18
2.3 Actions for exporters 23
3 Additional resources 24
COUNTRY GUIDE TO TIMBER LEGALITY: CHINACONTENTS
1COUNTRY GUIDE TO TIMBER LEGALITY: CHINA
ABOUT TFTEstablished in 1999, TFT is a global non-profit that helps businesses bring responsible products to market. Responsible products improve people's lives and respect the environment at all stages of the product lifecycle. TFT helps more than 90 members worldwide build responsible supply chains by identifying and addressing embedded social and environmental issues. Having established a strong record of achievement in timber supply chains, TFT has expanded its work into palm oil, leather, stone, charcoal, coconut and sugar. TFT has offices in 15 countries and an on-the-ground presence in many more.
ABOUT TTAPThe Timber Trade Action Plan (TTAP) is a private sector initiative of the EUs Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, managed by TFT and its partner Timber Trade Federations of Europe (ETTF), the UK (TTF), Netherlands (VVNH), Belgium (FBCIB) and France (LCB). The project delivers a practical approach by supporting European buyers and their suppliers in producer countries towards legality verification as a means to promote responsible management of tropical forests.
ABOUT RAFTResponsible Asia Forestry and Trade (RAFT) is a programme to improve forest management and bring transparency to the timber trade in Asia. The programme has been funded by USAID's Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA) and is now funded through the Australian Governments Illegal Logging Regional Capacity Building Partnership. RAFT influences the development and implementation of the public policies and corporate practices needed to make improvements, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
According to Article 4 of the Forestry Law3, Chinese forest stands which account for 85.5%4 of total forest area are classified into the following categories:
Timber stands (56%) - forests designated for timber production;
Protection forests (38%) - forests, designated for protection, inclusive of forests for water and soil protection, wind protection and farmland and forestland protection;
Forests for special uses (4%) - forests designated for national defence, environmental protection and scientific experiments;
Fuel wood forests (2%)5 - forests designated for production of wood-based fuel.
Laws have recently been introduced by the USA, EU and Australia that ban illegally harvested timber from their markets. Importers and buyers that place timber products on those markets must be able to demonstrate that timber was harvested legally. Failure to do so could imply prosecution through fines, seizure of products or imprisonment and could therefore affect businesses in producer countries.
To maintain market access, buyers will now need to rely on their suppliers in producer countries to provide evidence to demonstrate the timber has been legally harvested. This guide aims to give practical advice to timber producers, processors and exporters in China on how to demonstrate timber legality to their customers. Buyers can also use this as a guide to complement their understanding of the wood products industry in China and legal requirements such as the types of documentation and information needed by Chinese timber businesses.
The guide comprises of three main sections:
1. China background. This section is primarily for buyers importing timber-based products from China. It summarises Chinas forests resource, the timber processing industry (including the industrys use of imported timber), and official regulation of timber production and processing.
2. Actions for timber producers, processors and exporters. wherever you operate in the supply chain, it is recommended that you read all three sets of actions to understand what information and documents may be needed. Communication and exchange of information between supply chain partners about timber legality requirements is critical.
3. Further information provides links and sources of information about the laws in the US, EU and Australia to better understand the requirements and how to demonstrate assurances of legality.
2 COUNTRY GUIDE TO TIMBER LEGALITY: CHINA
Chinas forestland covers 2,068,606 km2
or 21% of the country1, and comprises a wide mix of forest types. Forest cover has grown rapidly in recent decades as the Natural Forest Protection Program reduced timber production from natural forest from 60 million m3 in 1998 to below 20 million m3 in 2010, together with a tree planting programme. China now has the largest plantation area in the world, producing 80.88 million m3 annually, principally of fast-growing species2.
1 FAO. (2010). Forest Resources Assessment2 National Bureau of Statistics of China. (2013). www.stats.gov.cn/tjgb/ndtjgb/qgndtjgb/t20130221_402874525.htm3 Forest Law of The Peoples Republic of China. (1985). www.rrting.net/res/sentence/law/forest.htm4 CIFOR. (2006). The assessment and monitoring of forest resources and forestry products statistics in China, CIFOR Working Paper, http://webdoc.sub.
gwdg.de/ebook/serien/yo/CIFOR_WP/36.pdf5 UNECE. (2009). Geneva Timber and Forest Discussion Paper 57: The Importance of Chinas Forest Products Markets to the UNECE Region, www.unece.
CHINA BACKGROUND 1.1 OVERVIEw OF CHINESE FOREST RESOURCE
The State Forestry Administration (SFA) is the central agency responsible for Chinas forestry activities, under the State Council. The SFA is responsible for policy making, plantation establishment, conservation and wood industry management. It has 11 departments, and is affiliated to institutions such as industry associations, regional branch offices and press10. The SFA is also leading Chinas international process against illegal timber and associated trade from the country together with the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Customs.
The National Forest Law has been in place since 1984, and was most recently revised in 1998. Elements of legislation concerning environment, transport, health and safety are also relevant and should be considered throughout all forestry activities.
Chinas 12th Five-Year Plan, announced in March 2011, sets out binding economic and environmental targets that include increasing total forestland coverage to 21.66%, increasing nature reserve area to 13% of total land area, and increasing annual commercial timber output to 100 million cubic metres11.
4 5COUNTRY GUIDE TO TIMBER LEGALITY: CHINA www.tft-forests.org
CHINA BACKGROUND 1.2 ADMINISTRATIVE AND LEGISLATIVE CONTEXT
farms9, while collectively-owned forests, mainly plantations, are situated in the south.
This classification and ownership of forestland in China has implications for domestically grown timber, and therefore timber producers, processors, exporters and importers should be aware of each, and of the relevant requirements to demonstrate legal harvest.
Ownership of Chinas forestland is divided between the state (42.5%) and collectives6 (57.6%), whilst the ownership of commercial growing stock for production purposes is 42.2% state-owned, 37.5% collective-owned, and 20.3% privately-owned7. State-owned forests are principally located in the Northeast and Southwest8 and are primarily managed by either state-owned forestry enterprises or state forest
6 People's Republic of China Ministry of Forestry. (2005). Sixth National Forestry Resources Inventory7 UNECE. (2009). Geneva Timber and Forest Discussion Paper 57: The Importance of Chinas Forest Products Markets to the UNECE Region, www.unece.
org/fileadmin/DAM/timber/publications/dp-57.pdf8 New Forests. (2010). The Changing Landscape of Chinas Domestic Forestry Sector, www.newforests.com.au/news/pdf/articles/
TheChangingLandscapeofChina.pdf9 Ho, P. (2005). Developmental dilemmas: land reform and institutional change in China, https://fp.auburn.edu/sfws/yaoqizhang/Collective%20Forests%20
FIGURE 1: MAP OF CHINAS FOREST COVER AND PROTECTED
10 UNECE. (2009). Geneva Timber and Forest Discussion Paper 57: The Importance of Chinas Forest Products Markets to the UNECE Region, www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/timber/publications/dp-57.pdf
11 Chinas 12th Five Year Plan. (2011). www.forestry.gov.cn/uploadfile/main/2011-11/file/2011-11-1-4b12d4c81c4f4851a94a7aecd73a69b7.pdf
6 COUNTRY GUIDE TO TIMBER LEGALITY: CHINA 7www.tft-forests.org
worth $3.7 billion. These constituted 10% of Chinas total wood products imports in 201115. Major flows of illegal logs are said to originate