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South Korea

2013 Assessment Findings 

South Korea is one of the world’s largest importers of timber and wood-based products – 90% of wood demand in the country is met from imports. The 2013 assessment found that the proportion of total wood imports estimated to be illegally sourced is 13%, and per capita illegally-sourced imports are the highest of any consumer country assessed by Chatham House. Imports have fallen 30 per cent over the last ten years however.

The response of the government to the issue has been limited, although new legislation on the sustainable use of timber was passed in 2012, this including provisions related to illegal logging. The private sector response has also been slow, although the rapid growth in the number of companies with FSC chain-of-custody certification may indicate a shift.