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Reports and Papers

Controlling Illegal Logging: Lessons from the US Lacey Act

Briefing Paper
Duncan Brack, July 2007

  • The US Lacey Act, which makes it illegal to import, sell or possess fish or wildlife produced illegally in foreign countries, is generally regarded by US enforcement agencies as an effective piece of legislation in helping to control illegal trade. It effectively creates a requirement for due diligence on the part of importers to ensure that the products they handle are legally sourced.
  • Lessons from the Lacey Act's operation are of direct relevance to the current debate in the EU around controlling imports of illegal timber.
  • Since existing legislation in the EU is, by and large, inadequate for the task, new legislation modelled on the Lacey Act is a potential option in tackling imports of illegal timber, and a valuable reinforcement to the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licensing scheme.
Moore Wilson Digital Agency London