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2013 Assessment Findings

The assessment indicates that the Netherlands has continued to show a strong response to the problem of illegal logging and related trade. The government played an active part in the development of the EU’s FLEGT Action Plan, and has been supporting the negotiation and implementation of voluntary partnership agreements with producer countries.

The government has also been promoting the production and consumption of sustainable timber. It has a comprehensive procurement policy, established the Sustainable Trade Initiative and helped to launch the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition.

As a result of these government actions as well as engagement by the private sector, there is a high proportion of certified wood-based products on the Dutch market as well as a large number of companies with chain-of-custody certification. A high level of media coverage on the issue of illegal logging also indicates that there is widespread awareness of this issue.

This response is thought to be partly responsible for the decline in imports into the Netherlands of timber-sector products likely to be illegal, currently estimated to comprise two per cent of the total. 

2010 Assessment Findings

In 2010 it was found that the Netherlands had the lowest proportion of illegal wood imports of the five consumer countries studied. These had fallen by just over 20% between 2004 and 2008. However, since the country serves as a transit hub for timber consumed elsewhere in Europe and so trades in high volumes of timber, levels of illegal timber imports were higher than other countries compared to its size.

The country had well designed laws, regulations and policies for tackling the issue of illegal logging, including a national government wood procurement policy which had been widely implemented. It was also among the most actively engaged EU member states in helping to negotiate voluntary partnership agreements with producer countries.

The country’s industry association codes of conduct on the issue were rigorous, and relative to the size of its industry, the Netherlands had a large number of companies with chain-of-custody certification - the number had more than doubled between 2006 and 2009.