In what is described as the first enforcement action of its kind, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has directed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to block future timber imports from a Peruvian exporter based on illegally harvested timber found in its supply chain. According to USTR, a verification conducted by Peru following public reports that the company was engaging in illegal logging activities found that significant portions of a specific shipment were not in compliance with Peru’s laws, regulations, and other measures on the harvest and trade of timber products.
The U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement requires Peru to conduct audits of particular timber producers and exporters and verifications of particular shipments of wood products from Peru upon request from the U.S. The agreement also provides an illustrative list of actions the U.S. may take with respect to shipments or enterprises that are the subject of verifications.
In this case, CBP will deny entry to timber shipments from the specified exporter for three years or until it is determined that the company has complied with all applicable Peruvian laws, regulations, and other measures, whichever is shorter.
USTR notes that the government of Peru is taking a number of actions to address the systemic challenges that remain in combatting illegal logging in that country. These include holding all of the relevant actors involved in this particular incident accountable, amending export documentation requirements to improve traceability, enhancing timber inspections, and implementing a timber tracking system in the Amazon corridor.