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The extent of imports of illegal wood-based products into the processing countries has been evaluated through an assessment of discrepancies in trade data between exporting and importing countries, and an evaluation of trade flows.
The evaluation of trade flows involved estimating the RWE volume and value of imports (in US dollars) from official import data for each year as well as the bilateral flow of each category of wood-based product. Those values were then multiplied by estimates of the proportion that was likely to be illegal. That proportion was based on an estimate of the level of illegality likely to be associated with the export of each product category for a given country and year as well as the extent to which importing countries demonstrate a preference for legal (e.g. FSC-certified) products.