• Ghana

Other indicators for legal timber trade of Ghana

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

All logs with the exception of teak are not permitted for export (VPA, 2009). Since January 1, 2014  the harvest and export of Rosewood timber (Pterocarpus erinaceus) from Ghana has been prohibited due to unchecked and indiscriminate harvesting. Current export ban has been partially lifted for a few exporting companies (Forest Trends, 2014).


CITES and protected species

CITES species must be covered by a special export permit issued by the Timber Industry Development Division of the Ghanaian Forestry Commission. CITES regulations are integrated in the forest management framework in Ghana. The following tree species can be found in Ghanaian forests which are covered by CITES Appendix II:

  • Afrormosia (Pericopsis elata).
  • Rosewood (Pterocarpus erinaceous)

Species for which harvesting has been restricted by the Ghanaian government (L.I. 1649):

  • Tiama, Edinam (Entandrophragma anglolense)
  • Sapeli, Sapelewood (Entandrophragma cylindricum)
  • Sipo, Utile (Entandrophragma utile)
  • Kosipo, Penkwa-akoa (Entandrophragma candollei)
  • African mahogany, Krumben (Khaya anthotheca / Khaya grandifolia)
  • African mahogany, Dubine (Khaya ivorensis)
  • Iroko, Odum (Milicia excelsa, Milicia regia)
  • Bilinga, Kusia (Nauclea diderichii)
  • Afrormosia, Kokrodua (Pericopsis elata)
  • Makore, Baku (Tieghemella heckelii)
  • Ovangkol, Hyedua (Guibourtia ehie)

National action on timber legality

With signing the VPA between Ghana and EU in November 2009, Ghana became the first country that signed a VPA with the European Union. Ghana is ready for the final assessment of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) that will ensure that timber and timber products exported to the European Union (EU) come from legal sources. The implementation of the final assessment (the date yet to be made public) will enable Ghana to begin the issuance of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licence.

Ghana has enacted a Timber Resources Management and Legality Licensing Regulation of 2017, LI 2254 in which changes to Ghana’s legal framework were made to meet the terms of the VPA.The new law clarifies the granting of special permits and included award of timber access rights for small scale harvesting. Already Ghana has established a Legality Assurance System (LAS) to monitor, control and verify management and use of Ghana’s forest resources to ensure that only legal products are produced, sold and exported from Ghana. The LAS applies to all sources of commercial timber and products produced, processed and/or acquired in Ghana including those for non-EU markets, as well as all timber sold on the domestic market. As a major component of the LAS, the Wood Tracking System incorporates a traceability control system which monitors timber, starting in the forest and continuing through the entire production chain.

The Timber Validation Department has been established within the Forestry Commission to perform the function of verification against the legal standard for every consignment. The Timber Industry Development Division of the Forestry Commission is designated as the national licensing authority under the VPA. They will issue FLEGT licenses for the export of timber products to the EU market and export permits for non-EU markets. The EU border control authorities will permit import only if shipments are covered by such a license.


Third party certification

Two companies have a valid FSC-certificate, covering 12,147 hectares of forest plantations. (FSC, august 2018). Several other companies hold an FSC Controlled wood certificate which covers together an area exceeding 250,000 hectares.

Early 2018, the National Working Group Ghana, with the support of UK DFID, completed a study titled ‘Migrating from FLEGT VPA to PEFC Certification in Ghana: an overview of PEFC and FLEGT VPA synergy’. With the National Working Group Ghana’s completion of the national forest certification system in late 2017 and the submission of the national system to PEFC International in May 2018 for assessment, Ghana’s national certification system is expected to have international recognition through PEFC in early 2019.