• Colombia

Other indicators for legal timber trade of Colombia

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

In Colombia, timber products and non-timber products in the second degree of processing or finished products may be exported subject to authorizations and certifications from the competent entities. Resolution 12 of 1966 of the Foreign Trade Board prohibits the export of timber products in first degree of processing (MADS, 2016). No specific export quotas are imposed in Colombia.


CITES and protected species

In Colombia, three agreements have been adopted for the protection of endangered species:

  • Law 5 of 1976 which include the promotion of unified guidelines on forest conservation and total or partial bans on hunting for science or sport purposes.
  • Law 29 of 1980 which created mixed committees to improve the use of agricultural, fish, forests, mining and industrial resources.
  • Law 165 of 1994, which adopted the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was approved in Colombia with the Law 22 of 1981. The following species from Colombia are listed on CITES Appendix II (CITES, 2021):

  • Aniba rosaeodora: is one of the commercially important sources of rosewood oil, which has led largely to its over-exploitation and to its listing by CITES.
  • Caryocar costaricense
  • Cedrela montana: one of the most highly prized woods, used in house construction, joinery and fence posts.
  • Dalbergia
  • Guaiacum officinale)
  • Swietenia macrophylla
  • Swietenia mahagoni

In Appendix III, concerning species for which international trade in species is only allowed after obtaining the right permits of certificates, the following species from Colombia are listed on CITES Appendix III (CITES, 2021) :

  • Cedrela odorata

National action on timber legality

Following the interest of both public and private entities in the country, the Intersectoral Pact for Legal Timber in Colombia (Pacto Intersectorial por la Madera Legal en Colombia) was created in 2009. Its objective is to ensure that the wood transported, transformed, traded and used comes exclusively from legal sources. In 2011 it was extended by 4 years and incorporated into the national development plans of the following years. At the moment of writing, the PIMLC has 69 nationally linked entities and 18 departmental agreements (Bohórquez, 2021).

The main objective of the national forestry control system is to guarantee the legal origin of timber forest products. Several systems coexist within the frame of national and regional timber tracking in Colombia.

National level
At the national level tracking systems are distinguished between natural forests and in commercial plantations.

Natural forest
In 2007, IDEAM (Instituto de Hidrología, Meterología, y Estudios Ambientales) developed the SNIF (Sistema Nacional de Información Forestal), which is an online database that aims to capture and monitor the information related to the national forest sector to update the Environmental Information System. The data provided to SNIF is uploaded by CAR and environmental authorities on a voluntary basis through online forms directly in SNIF or by email to IDEAM. Another initiative in the natural forest is VITAL, the online centralized tool for administrative procedures. In conclusion, the SNIF is a statistical tool for providing forest information based on the declarations of the CARs, while the new online transportation permits emission system is the first element of a centralized national timber tracking system.

Commercial plantations

Since 2011 estal), MADR has been managing a Single Forestry  Window (la Ventanilla Unica ForestalVUF), an online platform aiming to centralize and automate the processes in line with harvesting commercial plantations and industrial agroforest systems. Different procedures and consultation are allowed through the system, such as Forest Incentive Certificate application, plantation registration, transportation licenses as well as news, reports and statistics. All documents and procedures are available on the VUF platform once the customer has logged in.

Regional level
At the regional level several corporations and environmental authorities developed timber tracking systems aiming to monitor the use and issuance of harvesting permits and transportation licenses. The main weakness of the system was that every regional system was working independently, which could lead to complicated situations when moving timber from one department to another, for example. Subsequently, few of the regional systems were covering the chain of custody from harvesting to trade.

However, with the recent implementation of VITAL, the regional systems will slowly be abandoned.


Third party certification

To date, FSC is the only Sustainable Forest Management certification scheme in place in Colombia. No initiative has been launched to create a national certification system.

There are currently 162,919 hectares FSC certified in Colombia. There are 36 Chain of Custody and 10 Forest Management certifications (FSC, 2021). Four companies are also PEFC COC certified in Colombia (PEFC, 2021).