Briefing Paper

Associate Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources
Heike Baumüller and Katharina Umpfenbach
    • In response to the global problem of illegal logging and fishing, and the failure of the international community effectively to address the problem, the European Union has moved to tighten its own regulations.
    • The EU regulation to combat illegal fishing introduces comprehensive
      certification and traceability requirements for anyone wishing to import fish
      products into the EU, and provides for extensive enforcement measures that can be used by European authorities to ensure compliance with the regulation.
      • In response to the global problem of illegal logging and fishing, and the failure of the international community effectively to address the problem, the European Union has moved to tighten its own regulations.
      • The EU regulation to combat illegal fishing introduces comprehensive certification and traceability requirements for anyone wishing to import fish products into the EU, and provides for extensive enforcement measures that can be used by European authorities to ensure compliance with the regulation.
      • The EU regulation on illegal logging establishes a licensing system with countries that have entered into voluntary partnership agreements (VPA) with the EU. An additional regulation is currently being developed to try to ensure that illegal timber from all countries is excluded from the EU market.
      • The broad scope of the illegal fishing regulation, in terms of its geographical reach and its emphasis on enforcement is, at least in part, motivated by the 'common property' nature of global fisheries resources, which makes it difficult to address the impacts of illegal fishing at the national level.
      • The bilateral VPA process recognizes the national character of forest governance. While slow in their implementation, the VPAs - with their emphasis on capacity-building and stakeholder engagement - have the potential to trigger long-lasting governance reforms.

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