According to the FAO ( 2015), Brazil has around 493.5 million hectares of forest land, which constitutes to 59% of the total land area. Although forest land cover in Brazil has declined for the last 25 years, with a loss of around 0.4% forest cover per year, Brazil represents the second largest forested area in the world, second only to Russia (Brazilian Forestry Service). Around 485 million hectares are primary or otherwise naturally regenerated forests, and the remaining part of 7.7 million hectares is planted forest, mainly consisting of introduced species such as Eucalyptus and Pine, and to a lesser extent Acacia, Teak and Rubber wood (TFT). The vast majority of the country’s planted forests are located in the south of Brazil, while the native forests that provide timber are almost exclusively part of the Amazon. Brazilian forests can be classified broadly as Amazon rainforest, Atlantic rainforest (Mata Atlântica), central ‘cerrado’ savannah, arid ‘caatinga’ and the wetlands of the Pantanal (ITTO, 2011).
Different sources differ in their ownership estimations: between 68% (FAO) and 81% (TFT) of the forest area is supposed to be ‘publicly owned’. Public ownership is merely public administration, the other part is owned by communities. Also indigenous lands in Brazil are considered of public ownership. Between 19 and 23% is supposed to be in private ownership. In their country report Brazil, FAO states that in 8% of the forest area, ownership is unknown and there is a great lack of information on the ownership of forests in Brazil, probably also caused by differences in the interpretation of ‘public ownership’. Public lands with natural forests can be managed by private companies of by traditional communities. There is no plantation management on public lands. The management of natural forests may also occur on private land (NEPCon).
“Permanent Forest Estate” (PFE) is defined as: Land, whether public or private, secured by law and kept under permanent forest cover. This includes land for the production of timber and other forest products, for the protection of soil and water, and for the conservation of biological diversity, as well as land intended to fulfil a combination of these functions. Forest area that is not classified as PFE is open for conversion to other land uses. According to ITTO (2011), about 60% of the total forest area in Brazil is “Permanent Forest Estate” (PFE): 310 million hectares (data 2010). The PFE-area is roughly divided into Production and Protection areas. The production PFE includes both natural forest and planted forest, In the case of Brazil the production PFE includes:
- FLONAs (floresta nacional (national forest) - type of conservation units),
- extractive reserves,
- sustainable development reserves,
- legal reserves and permanent preservation areas on private land.
In general, protection PFE is considered to be the area of forest inside designated protected areas, where timber production and other forms of resource exploitation such as mining and commercial hunting are not legal land uses. Protection-PFE in Brazil includes: units of integral protection (federal and state) and indigenous lands.
Production and export
According to ITTO (2015) the Brazilian industry produced in 2014 about 162 million m3 of logs, of which 1.3% was exported. Total export value of primary timber products was about 990 million US dollars.
Commonly harvested tropical species for industrial roundwood (ITTO, 2011), in terms of volume:
- Maçaranduba (Manilkara huberi)
- Angelim (Dinizia excelsa)
- Cupiúba (Goupia glabra)
- Jatobá (Hymenaea courbaril)
- Cedrinho (Erisma uncinatum)
Other common native species:
- Amapa (Brosimum utile)
- Cumaru (Dipteryx odorata)
- Faveira (Parkia spp.)
- Garapa (Apuleia leiocarpa)
High value species:
- Ipê-amarelo / Brazilian walnut (Tabebuia serratifolia)
- Ipê-roxo / Brazilian walnut (Tabebuia impetiginosa)
- Cedro Vermelho / Cedar (Cedrela odorata). This species is listed on CITES Appendix III.
- Itaúba (Mezilaurus itauba)
- Freijó (Cordia goeldiana)
Principal plantation species:
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.)
- Pines (Pinus spp.)
Other plantation species:
- Acacia (Acacia spp.)
- Teak (Tectona spp.)
- Parica (Schizolobium amazonicum)
- Rubber Wood (Hevea brasiliensis)
In the figure below we see that the main destination markets for Brazil are the USA, Japan and Europe.
The main products Brazil exports are mouldings (softwood and hardwood), plywood, furniture, joinery, pulp and paper and sawn wood.
The key processing sites are principally located in Belém and Santarém in the state of Para. Brazil’s main ports for softwood lumber export are the southern ports of Paranaguá, São Francisco do Sul and Itajaí, while the main ports for hardwood lumber export are Belém, Belém Islands, Paranaguá, Santarém and Vila do Conde, mostly in the northern part of the country.
Sources of information
- Brazilian Forestry Service
- FAO (2015) Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015.
- FAO Forestry Country Information Brazil
- FAO Forest Resources Assessment Country Report Brazil
- Fordaq - timber trade network
- Forest Legality Alliance country profile - Brazil
- ITC (International Trade Centre) calculations based on UN Comtrade statistics
- ITTO (2011) Status of Tropical Forest Management 2011 - Brazil.
- ITTO (2011) Government of Brazil 2010, as quoted in ITTO country profile Brazil, 2011.
- ITTO (2015) ITTO Biennial review and assessment of the world timber situation 2013-2014.
- NEPCon Forestry risk profile - Brazil
- TFT Country guide to timber legality - Brazil
- World Port Source - Map of ports in Brazil with container liner service.
- WWF / GFTN: TRAFFIC: Framework for Assessing Legality of Forestry Operations, Timber Processing and Trade Annex
The forest law, the Brazilian Forest Code (Law No. 4.771) has a national scope and has been in place since 1965, amended in 2012 (Law No. 12.651). The management of Brazil's forests involves different institutions at three levels of government (federal, state, and city). In the federal government, the forest management is under the direct responsibility of four institutions:
- The Department of the Environment (MM) is responsible for formulating forestry policies. It operates by granting power for sustainable forest production and is responsible for signing forest concession contracts.
- The Brazilian Forestry Service (SFB) is the administrative institution of the federal public forests for the sustainable production of goods and services. It is also responsible for the generation of information, qualifications, and fostering the forest area.
- The Brazilian Institute of the Environment and of Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) is the institution responsible for environmental control and inspection, and is also responsible for licensing and environmental control of the Brazilian forests in its area of competence.
- The institute Chico Mendes of Conservation and Biodiversity (ICMBio) is responsible for proposing, implementing, managing, protecting, inspecting, and monitoring the Conservation Units instituted by the Federal Government.
In the state scope, generally, the state departments of the environment are responsible for formulating policies and forest standards, and the state environmental institutions are responsible for licensing, controlling, and inspecting forest activities and conservation. In the cities that have a forest management structure, the arrangement is similar.
As the management of Brazil’s forests involves different institutions at three levels of government (federal or national, state, and city), timber importing operators should also comply with relevant and applicable legislation on federal and state level. The rules for the management of native forests are much more stringent than those for plantations. The need for an environmental license for plantation management varies from state to state.
Forest management rights and harvesting
Only Brazilian-based community associations, cooperatives and companies can participate in forest concessions. Forest managers and harvesting companies harvesting native species from planted forests must inform IBAMA or the state environment body in question about their commercial activities.
When harvesting from concessions in native forests, concessionaires must hold a concession contract. In addition, they must hold an approved Sustainable Forest Management Plan (Plano de Manejo Florestal Sustentável - PMFS), an approved Annual Operational Plan (Plano Operacional Anual - POA) and an Operating Authorization (Autorização de Exploração - AUTEX).
When harvesting from private lands in native forests, timber companies must hold land title documents (or leasehold). They must also hold an approved Sustainable Forest Management Plan (Plano de Manejo Florestal Sustentável - PMFS) and an approved Annual Operational Plan (Plano Operacional Anual - POA).
Forest managers and harvesting companies harvesting from planted forests need planting licenses before a planted forest can be established. The government body responsible for issuing such a permit varies according to size and location (Forest Legality Alliance). Additionally, the company harvesting from planted forests which are not considered an area of permanent conservation (PFE), do not need to have a harvesting permit, but need to declare to the authorities the purpose of exploitation when establishing the plantation (Law No. 12.651).
IBAMA, Brazil’s environment agency, is the government body responsible for issuing licenses for cases such as areas shared by Brazil and a neighbouring country, indigenous territories, conservation units within federal level, and where two or more Brazilian states are involved. State environment agencies are the issuing body in cases such as the area in question is located in more than one municipality or a conservation unit is under state-level administration. Concessionaires must be on IBAMA’s technical register (Cadastro Técnico Federal). Licenses are to be renewed every three months. With the CPF/CNPJ number of the concessionaire, sawmill or other operator, the validity of his license can be checked here. CPF is Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas, Registry of natural persons. CNPJ is Cadastro Nacional da Pessoa Jurídica, or National Registry of Legal Entities. This is an identification number issued to Brazilian companies, consists of a 14-digit number formatted as 00.000.000/0001-00 — The first eight digits identify the company; the four digits after the slash identify the branch or subsidiary.
Ibama also has an active database that can be consulted to find out about ‘blacklisted’ forests and companies (‘areas embargadas’). Output is a list of areas (and the managing company) were harvesting is prohibited. Maps are also available per search result.
Timber transport and processing
Companies transporting timber from native forests must carry a DOF (Documento de Origem Florestal), issued by IBAMA (Federal Environmental Agency) or a state equivalent, as well as a nota fiscal (invoice). The DOF is a computerized timber control system. It should contain information about the timber’s origin, species, type of product, quantity and value of the cargo, as well as detailed transportation route. Products and subproducts should be accompanied by the relevant DOF from the originating timber yard up to customs terminal. The DOF is not always required. Sub products such as windows, doors and furniture, and cellulose and wood paste, for example, are exempt. Some states have their own transportation licenses, which are integrated with the DOF system. These states are Mato Grosso, Pará and Rondônia (Guia Florestal - GF) and Minas Gerais (Guia de Controle Ambiental - GCA).
With the barcode on the Guia Florestal (a document related to the Declaration of Origen, given out by SEMA), an electronic version of the document can be retrieved and a check on authenticity is done. SEMA is Secretaria do Ambiente e Desenvolvimento Sustentável, or State Secretariat for the Environment. Here the SEMA of the state of Pará. At the left side of the page documents of a concession or sawmill can be found, like the licences, Autef / Autex and sanctions against the operator can be searched. The DOF is issued with an expiration date: 5 days for state road transportation, 10 days for interstate road transportation and 30 days for logs being transported by rafts. Companies transporting exotic species from planted forests must carry a nota fiscal (invoice).
Also processing companies must be on IBAMA’s technical register (Cadastro Técnico Florestal). IBAMA or a state environmental agency must issue a license before timber processing activities are carried out. The timber processing company must complete relevant sections of the DOF (Documento de Origem Florestal).
In Brazil, the responsible body for the collection and inspection of the income tax is the Secretariat of the Federal Revenue of Brazil (RFB). The RFB has a computerized system to collect the income taxes of all statutory Individuals and entities, cross-checking data between different payers and income recipients. Anyone can check if a company has any disputes with the Secretariat of the Federal Revenue of Brazil through the RFB website.
Exportation in Brazil is also regulated by the Brazilian Federal Revenue (RFB) through the on-line system called SISCOMEX (Integrated Foreign Trade System). For a company to have access to exportation it is required to submit to the Federal Revenue particular documents. The RFB Normative Instruction presents the reasons that can lead to the suspension of the SISCOMEX enrollment, with such restrictions reducing the possibility that a company has legal problems associated with exporting its products.
Products must go through one of the two customs declaration procedures available. A simplified declaration can be used when goods do not exceed $50,000 and a full customs declaration is used when exported goods exceed this value. The simplified declaration can be done online via the Sistema de Comércio Exterior – SISCOMEX (Foreign Trade System) or through paper forms. The full customs declaration must be processed online via SISCOMEX.
Customs clearance is done by means of a Declaração de Exportação - DE (export declaration), which must be formalized with up to 48 hours prior to shipment by the local IBAMA unit. The following documents are needed for a DE to be issued: 1. Copy of the Registro de Exportação - RE (Export Registry) from the Sistema de Comércio Exterior - SISCOMEX (Foreign Trade System); 2. Copy of the nota fiscal (Invoice); 3. Packing list; 4. Transportation Authorization; 5. Export authorization for wood products and subproducts (e.g. CITES), as appropriate.
Timber companies seeking to export timber from Brazil must provide the following:
- Importer registration (SISCOMEX code)
- Import claim
- Customs declaration
- Purchasing contract
- Purchasing order
- Legal transportation permits
- Packing list
The below listed key documents are based on the applicable legislation and are considered to play a key role in demonstrating legal origin. The full list of applicable legislation is accessible here (NEPCon).
Trade and export
Bans and quota
Brazil has a ban on log exports (since 1996) and focus on exports of secondary processed wood. (source: TFT). Export of logs from plantations is permitted (NEPCon).
Cites and protected spieces
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
The following tree species are found in natural forest in Brazil and covered by CITES (Appendix I, II or III):
- Jacarandá / Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) - Appendix I
- Brazilian Rosewood (Aniba roseodora) - Appendix II
- Vera or Argentine / Paraguay Lignum vitae (Bulnesia sarmientoi) - Appendix II
- Brazilwood (Caesalpinia echinata) - Appendix II
- Bigleaf Mahogany; also called ‘Caoba’ (Swietenia macrophylla) - Appendix II
- Spanish Cedar or ‘Cedro’ (Cedrela odorata) - Appendix III
IBAMA is the only Management Authority competent to grant CITES permits or certificates.
Exported CITES species must leave the country via one of a limited number of ports:
- North region: Belém Port (PA)
- South region: Paranaguá (PR), Itajaí (SC) and Uruguaiana (RS) Ports
- Southeast region: Santos (SP) and Vitória Ports
Some natural forest tree species are protected and prohibited for export by Brazilian law, and some of these species are also CITES-listed as written above (FLA):
- Brazil nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa)
- Paraná Pine / Araucáia (Araucaria angustifolia)
- Brazilwood / Pernambuco (Caesalpinia echinata)
- Jacarandá / Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra).
National action on timber legality
Brazil does not have a VPA.
Third party certification
There is an approved national FSC standard (FSC-STD-BRA-01-2010) for Brazil’s Natural Forest and one for Plantation Forests (FSC-STD-BRA-01-2014 V1-0 EN). Furthermore there is a so called SLIMF-standard, FSC-STD-BRA-03-2013, which shall be used in FSC timber & non-timber forest management certification audits, for traditional communities, indigenous peoples and small-scale producers in Brazil. 6.5 million hectares of the Brazilian forests are covered with a FSC FM certificate (FSC, 2015).
PEFC: Brazilian Forest Certification Programme (CERFLOR)
The CERFLOR certificate is a Brazilian forest certification initiative, whose standards were prepared by ABNT (Brazilian Technical Standards Association). The CERFLOR system includes forest management standards for native forests as well as for plantations. The system is endorsed by PEFC. As of June 2015, there are more than 2.4 million hectares of forests certified under by ABNT NBR 14789 (planted forests) and ABNT NBR 15789 (native forests) (PEFC, 2015). The majority of CERFLOR-certified companies also has a FSC certificate.
SCS LegalHarvest Verification (LHV)
The LegalHarvest™ standard was developed by SCS based on expertise in wood product legality verification, forest management and chain of custody. It integrates aspects of wood product legality requirements from around the world into one standard, to assure a company has the documentation and evidence needed to uphold the traceability and legality of timber sourcing. A few forest companies in Brazil have a SCS LegalHarvest certificate.
Sources of information
- Centralized National Risk Assessment (FSC) Category 1 Brazil Consultation
- CITES database
- EU FLEGT facility
- Forest Legality Alliance (WRI) risk tool - Brazil
- FSC report “Facts & Figures” – August 2015
- Global Forest Registry
- ITTO (2011) Status of Tropical Forest Management - Brazil
- NEPCon Forestry risk profile: Brazil
- PEFC report Facts & Figures – June 2015
- Portal da Legislação
- SCS LegalHarvest Verification (LHV) certificates
- TFT Country guide to timber legality: Brazil
Brasília - DF
The Ministry of Environment is responsible for forestry as well as for planning, coordinating and controlling activities related to the national environment policy and policies for developing the Amazon. It supervises the activities of IBAMA and the Brazilian Forest Service.
70.818-900 – BRASÍLIA - DF
70818-900 - Brasília - DF
The Brazilian Forest Service from the Ministry of Environment coordinates the National Registry of Public Forests (NRPF), which includes Federal, State and Municipal Public Forests Registries.
CEP: 70.670-350 - Brasilia - DF
ICMBio is primarily responsible for the management, protection and inspection of federally protected ‘Conservation Units’ (in Portuguese known as ‘unidades de conservação’), which can be divided in two groups: full protection and sustainable use.
www.sema.mt.gov.br/ (Mato grosso)
SEMA State Secretariat for the Environment, responsible for issuing environmental licenses for any activity that occurs in a state land.
Cep: 66610-770; Tel: (91) 3184-3600
Assessoria de Imprensa: (61) 2033-7515
Departamento de Apoio ao Conselho Nacional do Meio Ambiente - DCONAMA
Edifício Sede do Ministério do Meio Ambiente, Esplanada dos Ministérios - Bloco B, 9º andar, sala 950
70068-901 - Brasília/DF
SEPN 505, Ed. Marie Prendi Cruz, 5º andar, sala 501.
70730-542 - Asa Norte - Brasília/DF/Brasil
Jardim Botânico. 80.215 090 Curitiba PR
SCN Q1 Bl. E - Ed. Central Park - Sala 1215/1216 - Cep: 70711-903
Fone: 61 3202.8686
São Paulo office:
Av. Brig. Faria Lima,1234 - 15 andar - 151 - Cep:01451-913
São Paulo/SP, Brazil
Fone: 11 3817.8711
CEP 13426 a 420
Piracicaba - SP | Brasil
Belém - Pará - Brasil
Belém – Pará – Brasil