Padauk Seizure Leads to Forest Department Investigation

Eleven containers of Padauk and two containers of Teak were seized at the Myanmar Industrial Port in Rangoon, Myanmar on January 24. This lead to more seizures in February including 7 additional truckloads of Padauk and roughly 8 container loads of Padauk and Tamalan (a species of Dalbergia).

As a result, the Forest Department in Myanmar has launched an internal investigation. If staff are found to be negligent, they will be fired. If they are found to have accepted bribes they will be sued.

This effort by Myanmar to enforce their own laws governing the trade of forest products is a positive step towards increasing the marketability of Myanmar timber. It prevents the profits of legitimate timber from being eroded by rogue, underpriced timber, and it reduces incalculable legal risks associated with the Lacey Act and EUTR.

Going a step further, Myanmar could benefit from technology like the one just launched in Brazil to monitor logs from the stump to the point of sale. Eliminating illegal timber from supply chains at the point of harvest avoids the waste associated with large international investigations as demonstrated by the bulldozing of illegal Peruvian timber in the United States.

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