• India

Other indicators for legal timber trade of India

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

  • India has banned the export of unprocessed logs.
  • India has placed an export ban on Sandalwood (Santalum album) timber.
  • Indian rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia) logs and sawn timber is banned from export under the Indian Forest Act.
  • Import of Sandalwood (EXIM Code No. 44039922) is ‘Restricted’ and subject to a ceiling in each licensing year. (Imports will be permitted only against an Import Authorisation issued in consultation with the MoEF&CC. The ceiling of Sandalwood for each financial year will be monitored by the MoEF&CC to ensure that it is not exceeded. License will be valid for a period of one year from the date of issue. No further revalidation of such authorisation shall be allowed.)
  • Import of Red Sanders (Pterocarpus sautatinus) is prohibited.

CITES and protected species

The Government of India has banned the export for commercial purposes of all wild-taken specimens of species included in Appendices I, II and III, but permitted the export of cultivated varieties of plant species included in Appendices I and II - Notification 1999 / 039 of CITES.

There are some tree species listed on CITES Appendix II from India.

  • Agarwood (Aquilaria )
  • Agarwood (Gyrinops spp.)
  • Chinese yew (Taxus chinensis)
  • Himalayan may-apple (Podophyllum hexandrum)
  • Himalayan yew (Taxus wallichiana)
  • Ramin (Gonystylus macrophyllus)
  • Red sandalwood (Pterocarpus santalinus). India will authorize the export of specimens of any type, from 310 metric tonnes of wood per year from artificially propagated source (Source "A") and a one-time export of specimens of any type, from 9090.09 metric tonnes of wood from confiscated or seized source (Source "I")
  • Serpentine wood (Rauvolfia serpentine)
  • Taxus fuana

During CoP 17 in 2016, CITES decided to protect all the species under genus Dalbergia under Appendix II making the trade in this wood illegal without a CITES permit. In december 2016 , India entered a reservation with reference to the inclusion of Dalbergia spp. in Appendix II of the convention.In 2017, MoEF Authorised EPCH in addition to WCCB as a one of the authority to issue comparable document in lieu of CITES permit i.e. VRIKSH Shipment Certificate for export of handicrafts products made from Dalbergia sissoo and Dalbergia latifolia. (Source: VRIKSH India; Notification to the Parties No. 2018/031)


National action on timber legality

India is not a VPA country. India does not plan to sign a VPA since it has banned the export of unprocessed logs. It is however a priority country for the EU FLEGT Asia Regional Support Programme (FLEGT Asia).


Third party certification

In May 2013, Ministry of Commerce and Industry nominated  Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) as a nodal agency for certificate on due diligence adopted by the exporters in procuring wood from legal sources for handicrafts articles manufacture. Source: DGFT Notification.

EPCH has developed: “VRIKSH” TIMBER LEGALITY ASSESSMENT AND VERIFICATION SCHEME – INDIA. This standard has been designed to allow organizations to avoid trading in illegally harvested wood, for verification of legality and legal origin of wood and wood products is intended for organizations who want to accurately track and make claims about the legal origin and transport of their products.

Compliance with this standard allows organizations to demonstrate that they are implementing best efforts to avoid the trade in illegally harvested timber, in support of the international Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) program, the European Union Timber Regulations (EUTR), The US Lacey Act Amendment 2008, The Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 and other such Global Timber Legality Verification Programs. It allows companies to start implementing their own responsible sourcing policies.

Four aspects of legality to be covered under the ambit of this standard are:

  • Legal right to harvest and trade within legally gazetted boundaries
  • Compliance with legislation related to forest management, environment, labour and welfare, health and safety
  • Compliance with legislation related to taxes and royalties
  • Compliance with requirements for trade and export procedures.

Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests  (NCCF)

NCCF, a non profit organisation launched the internationally benchmarked National Forest Management Certification Standard in January 2018. The Standard was developed following the standard setting process - a rigorous three year multi stakeholder consultation initiated in 2015. The NCCF Forest Management Certification Scheme has been endorsed by PEFC International, a global forest certification alliance, in 2019. Since then NCCF has certified approximately 450408.3 hectares area under this scheme. The accreditation body for the Forest Management Standard is NABCB.

NCCF has also developed the world's first of a kind Trees Outside Forest Certification Scheme in August 2019.


During the past years, the use of international forest certification systems, particularly Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, has increased, partly because of the response towards FLEGT among buyers in the EU (Forest Legality Alliance). Currently there are 8  valid FSC-FM-certificates, with a joint area of 522486  hectares. (Source: FSC Facts & Figures, Feb 2020).