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News from Global Partnership Projects

Stuart Chapman / WWF-Canon

 FOREST: New manual to help customs reveal illegal wood at Russia’s borders
WWF believes that tougher customs control is important to combat illegal timber trade. This is why WWF Russia has contributed to the development of a manual to help customs fight illegal export of timber and wood products. The manual Customs control and classification of wood items was developed in cooperation with the Russian Customs Academy, the European Commission and the ENPI FLEG programme.

Curbing illegal exports of timber and forest and wood products depends to a high degree on the professional skills of customs officers; their ability to correctly identify wood products and to take competent decisions on transportation. The new manual is primarily aimed at forming professional competences and supporting the professional development of customs officers, but is also intended for students of higher educational institutions, graduate students, teachers, and others interested in cross-border timber trade.

The manual describes in detail how to determine tree species and timber grade; how to assess timber and forest products, and covers principles of classification, licensing and wood declaring, and much, much more. It also contains case studies to illustrate the complexity of customs checks and the skills required.

ENPI FLEG – Improving Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in the European Neighbourhood Policy East Countries and Russia – is a programme funded by the European Union with a contribution from the Austrian Development Cooperation. It works with governments, companies and civil society in participating countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.