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National forestry control from SGS – improving transparency and accountability in the forestry sector.


As new timber trade regulations come into place in the EU and the US, it is becoming more important than ever before to improve transparency and accountability in the forestry sector.

Illegal logging deprives governments of billions of dollars in tax revenue and causes massive environmental damage. Logging-related corruption undermines the rule of law, discouraging legitimate investment and hindering development.

At SGS, we believe that long-term improvement in the management and verification of forest information contributes to better governance in the forest sector. National forestry control from SGS offers innovative solutions to improve traceability and accountability cultivate best practice and raise management standards.

Effective forest control

Addressing illegal logging and promoting sustainable forest management, whilst fostering progress in governance, competitiveness, and transparency, is a major challenge.

At SGS, we believe that effective monitoring brings a number of key benefits:

  • Optimization and fair collection of government revenue
  • National capacity building
  • Trade compliance, promotion and facilitation
  • Conservation of natural assets and ecosystems
  • Contribution to socio-economical development
  • Consolidation of forest sector information

We aim to:

  • Ensure efficient control of timber movements and associated financial flows
  • Guarantee the legality of exported or locally distributed timber
  • Support forest management and law enforcement agencies
  • Raise management standards to an internationally recognized level

How does it work?

National forestry control consists of setting up and operating a national timber traceability system ensuring the control of timber flows from the forest to the local and/or export market. The timber traceability ensures the verification of the supply chain which is currently one of the elements required in the implementation of the Legality Assurance System (LAS) in the framework of FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) signed between the European Union and the governments of producing countries.

National forestry control potentially involves a combination of the following activities:

  • Assisting the development and configuration of a timber traceability platform
  • Introducing the use of bar-coded tags and handheld devices
  • Capacity building for the forest administration and private operators
  • Conducting documentary and physical verifications for data reconciliation
  • Setting up checkpoints on roads, rivers, borders and ports
  • Monitoring the exports of logs and timber products
  • Securing the calculation and collection of forest revenues on behalf of the government

To implement such a system, we can create and manage an agency that operates independently of government while interfacing and working with relevant government bodies and key stakeholders. This agency issues verification reports and statements which rely on a combination of log and timber tracking, data monitoring and legality verification checks.

Alternatively, under a Technical Assistance mandate, we assist the Forest administration with the development of the above activities.

Since 1995, we have run a number of successful national and regional forestry monitoring and verification projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Russia. SGS is currently implementing national forestry control Systems in Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Papua New Guinea and the Republic of Congo.

Our services are based on robust information and cutting-edge traceability technology. We use a comprehensive system that encompasses every stage of the supply chain, from forest to market through documentary control, physical inspections and legality audits.

Contact us to find out more about the benefits of national forestry control from SGS.