Timber Legislation

FSC regards compliance with relevant legislation regulating timber trade and related matters as an essential component of responsible forest management.

FSC Timber Legislation
FSC GD / Jean Baptiste Lopez

Compliance at all levels

FSC regards the compliance with legislation at international and national levels as the essential foundation on which to build a system of responsible forest management and the sourcing of timber.



FSC EU Timber Regulation
FSC GD / Arturo Escobar
How FSC certification can help companies meet Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade (FLEGT) and EUTR timber legality requirements.

Timber legality legislation

Complying with timber legality legislation is an essential component of FSC certification. In fact, compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and nationally ratified international treaties, conventions and agreements is our first principle of responsible forest management.

All countries with forests have rules for forest ownership and management, and trade, but the level of enforcement of these rules varies across the globe.

For this reason, several governments have adopted ‘legislation for timber legality' since 2008. These are laws that ban the trading of timber that is harvested illegally anywhere on the planet. To prevent the purchase and sale of timber products connected to illegal harvesting, these governments require companies to apply due diligence.

FSC fully supports this timber legality legislation, which is currently in place in the USA, the EU, Australia and an increasing number of Asian countries. However, it is worth noting that both most legislations do not recognize voluntary certification as automatic evidence of compliance, see it as a tool to reduce risk only.

FSC has taken measures to ensure its forest management, chain of custody, and controlled wood standards meet the requirements of these laws. In this way, certification can make compliance a simple process. In the EU and Australia, FSC has improved government officials’ understanding of the value and reliability of FSC certification.


FSC and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012
PDF, Size: 142.65KB
FSC and Lacey act - 04/2017
PDF, Size: 472.88KB
Legality Legislation in Asia - FSC briefing
PDF, Size: 403.99KB
FSC Briefing on Korea legality legislation - 11/2018
PDF, Size: 142.65KB
The Consequences of Timber Legality Legislation for FSC Certificate Holders Producing for Customers in the USA, European Union, Switzerland and/or Australia 03/2017
PDF, Size: 199.14KB
FSC and corruption - 23/03/2017
PDF, Size: 474.17KB
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