• Democratic Republic of the Congo

Other indicators for legal timber trade of Democratic Republic of the Congo

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

A moratorium on new logging concessions has been in place since 2002. The government is considering reopening its forests to new logging concessions, but Decree no. 05/116 of 24 October 2005 outlining the terms for the conversion of former forest titles into forest concession contracts and extending the moratorium on the granting of logging titles, establishes three conditions for the lifting of this moratorium, namely: the publication of definitive results of the conversion process (including the effective termination of unconverted titles), the publication of new rules for the attribution of forest allocations, and the adoption of a consultative, geographical process for future allocations within 3 years. 18 years later, this moratorium still hasn't been lifted.


CITES and protected species

There seems to be no special list of protected timber species at the national level apart from those listed by the CITES convention (DRC is a signatory country) and limitations given within each specific forest management plan. (Traffic / WWF-GFTN). The DRC has a modern legal and regulatory arsenal for sustainable forest logging and management, which applies to the Afrormosia (known as P. elata) as well as to all of the country's forest species that are harvested and sold. This general legal framework for forest logging operations, highly demanding in terms of environmental sustainability, is potentially sufficient - if properly applied - to regulate and guarantee the sustainability of P. elata harvesting in Congo's forests.

  • Afrormosia (Pericopsis elata), one of the DRC's main forest species, is listed in Appendix II of the CITES, and is also considered endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

    To be eligible for international trade in compliance with the CITES, specimens of P. elata exported by the DRC must have been harvested under rigorously proven conditions of sustainability, in accordance with the regulatory provisions in effect: management inventories provide sufficiently reliable and rigorous data to assess the forest potential (i.e. the standing volume of harvestable trees) and are able to meet the requirements of sustainable tree population management.

    The availability of management inventory data is therefore a key prerequisite to decide on - concession by concession - the sustainability of the exploitation of P. elata.

    Consequently, as of 1 January 2015, and in accordance with the ACNP of May 2014, the DRC only authorises the export of P. elata timber within the framework of the CITES on the strict condition that this timber comes from forest titles for which management inventory reports have been filed in accordance with legal provisions. Since 2015, exports of this species are subject to an annual quota determined on the basis of the results provided by the management inventories. The last updated ACNP dates back to March 2018. The Afrormosia quota for 2020 is 31,659 m3 in roundwood equivalent.
  • Prunus africana has been classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a vulnerable species. This led to its classification in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In 2018, the quota stood at 102.00 kg of dried bark.
  • Since 2017, the Bubinga "Guibourtia demeusei" has been listed in Appendix II of CITES. The quota stood at 14,895 m3 roundwood equivalent for the year 2019, renewable for the year 2020.

National action on timber legality

The Democratic Republic of Congo is currently negotiating a VPA with the EU. Negotiations started in October 2010 with the signing on 21 October in Brussels of the Joint Declaration on the opening of negotiations between the two nations. It was followed by the creation of the Technical Commission for Negotiations through Ministerial Order no. 053/CAB/MIN/ECN-T/2010 of 27 November of the same year which was then amended and supplemented by Ministerial Order no. 014/CAB/MIN/EDD/AAN/KTT/02/2018 of 22 February 2018.

On 30 August 2019, the report entitled "Progress of the FLEGT VPA process in the Democratic Republic of Congo - 2010 to date" was published by the Forest Governance Observatory (OGF), as part of the CV4C project.

To date, the APV-FLEGT Technical Negotiation Commission has produced the legality grids for industrial, first and second category artisanal and local community forest exploitation. The vade-mecums of the grids for industrial and artisanal exploitation are published and available on the website of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development.


Third party certification

Although there is a regional FSC standard for the Congo Basin region (the FSC standard for the Certification of Congo Basin forests, 2012), the Democratic Republic of Congo does not have any FSC-certified forests.

On 16 May 2019, the Compagnie Forestière de Transformation (CFT) obtained a certificate of legality issued by NepCon according to the Legal Source standard for an area of 544,145 ha located near Kisangani and its processing activities.

On 10 April 2020, the Industrie Forestière du Congo (IFCO) company obtained a certificate of legality issued by NepCon according to the Legal Source standard for the Alibuku forest concession and for the processing plant in Kinkole.