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Possible temporary suspension of timber export from the DRC

22 July 2021

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Mrs. Eve Bazaiba, has adopted in the Council of Ministers 10 urgent measures relating to forest management.

These 10 measures, grouped in two axes (climate change and carbon credit / forest management), are the following:

  • The institution of the Carbon Tax
  • The creation of the Carbon Market Regulatory Authority
  • The launch of studies for the elaboration of the national policy on climate change and the adoption of a legal framework for it
  • The holding of a general meeting on the forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the continued operationalization of the National Advisory Council on Forests
  • The development of a National Forest Policy for the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • The re-visitation of forest concessions granted to date
  • The establishment of a Commission to examine the situation of abandoned and/or stockpiled red wood in the former Katanga Province
  • The lifting of the current moratorium on the granting of logging titles
  • The issuance of an inter-ministerial order suspending the export of all timber species in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • The reconciliation of statistical data between the services involved in the environmental sector (DGDA, OGEFREM, OCC, DGRAD, DGI, etc.)

The 9th measure, which concerns the suspension of timber exports, regardless of the species and level of processing of the wood, raises many questions: when will the decree be issued and come into force? For how long will the export suspension last? How will the companies be able to respect the contracts signed with their customers? Will companies break their contracts for not meeting delivery deadlines? How can companies finance their activities without this source of income? What will happen to the companies with regard to their fiscal and social obligations?

This measure leads to many frictions and uncertainties for the companies, and in particular for the certified companies, which try to negotiate deadlines to be able to honor the signed contracts. To be continued in the next days and weeks.

See original news item on the ATIBT Website

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