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Imports of illegal timber fall

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Five major timber importing countries have made progress in cutting contraband wood from their markets since 2010, argues a series of reports published by Chatham House.

The analysis — covering Britain, France, Japan, the Netherlands, and the US — is based on point-of-origin data for timber imports. For example, countries and states with a high risk of illegal logging and timber laundering would hurt an importer’s rating.

Overall, the report estimates that 4% of timber imports by volume are still at “high risk of illegality”, at an estimated value of $7bn (£4.5bn). Of the five countries assessed, Japan has the highest proportion of high-risk imports (at about 10%), mainly because of large volumes of trade with China, Russia, and Malaysia — all of which have problems with illegally sourced wood.