In three separate operations, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) of Indonesia, seized 38 containers of wood that is suspected of being illegal. All three operations occurred in and around the East Java port city of Surabaya on February 22.
The shipments sailed from Dobo, in the Aru Islands of Maluku, to Surabaya. The containers were distributed. That’s when the KLHK seized them.
14 containers were seized on Mayjen Sungkono street in Gresik, 13 on Margomulyo Indah street in Surabaya, and 11 containers in Winong Village in Pasuruan.
This brings the total amount of containers seized in the area to 422 since December. Most of the wood is reportedly of the Merbau species. Other recent operations include:
- 40 containers of Merbau wood estimated at over US$ 800,000 seized in Surabaya
- 57 containers of Merbau wood seized in Makassar Port
- 88 containers of wood seized at the Port of Tanjung Perak
- 199 containers of Merbau wood seized in Surabaya
Indonesia is the only country that receives preferential treatment under the European Union Timber Regulation. It’s FLEGT-licensed products are exempt from certain requirements upon entry into the EU.
It’s unclear whether the EU Facility that manages the FLEGT licensing system intends to audit previous shipments of Merbau or other species originating from this region of Indonesia in 2018.
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Header photo: Mauro Licul