• China

Other indicators for legal timber trade of China

Corruption Perception Index



A country's score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
Source: Transparency International


Bans & quota

China is planning to ban commercial logging in all natural forests by the end of 2016 in an extension of an ambitious program which was started in 1998 and whose purpose is to allow forests to recover from decades of over-logging and to help restore forest ecosystems and their resilience.

In 2014, the State Forestry Administration (SFA) (now changed the name as the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) launched a trial ban on commercial logging in state-owned natural forests in Heilongjiang Province, which has historically produced over 30 percent of China’s domestic log supply. Based on the results of the Heilongjiang trial, the SFA further expanded the trial ban to natural forest areas in other Northeast provinces starting from April 2015, and to the whole country by 2017.

The newly released China’s 13th Five-Year logging quota (2016-2020), which shows a logging quota of 254.036 million m3 for 2016-2020, reveals a 6.3% drop compared to 2010-2015 and shows that a logging ban has been effectively enforced. A closer look at the logging quota for each province, particularly with an eye to plantations and natural forests, shows that there is no quota for commercial logging in natural forests nationwide.


CITES and protected species

There are no tree species found in natural forest in China covered by CITES (Appendix I, II or III).

China halts timber imports from 3 countries

On 8 April 2015, China’s National Endangered Species Import and Export Management Office issued a directive suspending imports of CITES listed timber species (Pericopsis elata) and (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Laos. This restriction follows a directive from CITES Secretariat recommending all signatory countries to suspend trade in CITES-listed species from the DRC, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Nigeria until further notice due to the failure of these three countries to submit a National Ivory Action Plan.


National action on timber legality

The project on developing Chinese National Timber Legality Verification system was launched in December 2009 with the help of DFID, connecting China with UK and EU experience. It aims to develop a cost efficient legality verification system which is adapted to Chinese context, and could possibly develop to endorse wood products labelled under robust legality or certification standards from other importing countries, e.g. license issued by Indonesian Timber legality Assurance System (TLAS), FLEGT licenses, FSC certificates of forest certification or timber legality verification.

China has no Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU, although the EU and NFGA agreed to establish a Bilateral Coordination Mechanism (BCM) on FLEGT in January 2009. One of many tasks listed is to explore opportunities for EU and China to develop a shared approach towards legality verification schemes for timber and timber products implemented by timber exporting countries, including in the context of FLEGT VPAs. The BCM experts committee which consist of experts from both China and EU have drafted the work plan later 2009 for both Chinese and EU governments to consider.


Third party certification

In October 2007, China issued its own forest certification standards (CFCS – China Forest Certification System), followed by a number of pilot projects to test such standards. The pilot includes forest management, chain of custody, non-timber forest products (NTFP), bamboo, production management of rare and endangered species, forest environmental services, and other fields.  In February 2014, the China Forest Certification Scheme (CFCS) achieved endorsement by PEFC. The PEFC global statistics of March 2020 report a total area under certification amounting to 2,039,667 ha and 394 CoC certificates.

The FSC China National Initiative was launched in March 2006 to develop forest certification standards compatible to forest conditions in China. On 4th December 2019, the country was reported to have 1,038,623 ha of FSC-certified forests. Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certification has grown even faster as the figure of 10,012.