According to the Federal Police of Brazil, several shipments of imported wood, containing more than 80 cubic meters, were seized at the Port of Savannah in Georgia. During the inspection, Brazilian and American authorities extracted samples of wood that could be used in forensic analysis.

According to the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), the species of wood samples collected include Ipe and Jatoba.

These samples will be compared to a bank of wood samples collected in the Brazilian forest where the shipments allegedly originated. The purpose is to determine whether the wood in the shipments truly originated from that point of the forest. Brazil will use stable isotope analysis to compare the wood samples.

See also: 5 ways illegal logs enter wood product supply chains

Following the inspection, a delegation of Brazilian authorities met with US officials from January 6 to 8, 2021, in Savannah. The US officials included agents from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Customs and Border Protection, and Homeland Security Investigations. The delegation from Brazil included the Federal Police, the Federal Revenue Service and the Federal Public Ministry.

Officials from Brazil and the US during a technical visit to the Port of Savannah where samples of Ipe and Jatoba were recently collected.
Officials from Brazil and the US during a technical visit to the Port of Savannah. Photo: MPF

Data from companies identified in Operation Handroanthus – in which 130,000 cubic meters of illegal logs were seized – was also shared with the US authorities. The seizure, equivalent to more than 6,000 truckloads was the biggest in Brazil’s history.

See also: Overestimation of Ipe stand density and volume in Pará, Brazil

The cooperation between the Brazilian and the US authorities for the monitoring of the wood trade between the two countries has been growing since Operation Archimedes. Brazil hopes that this cooperation will help identify shipments of illegal wood that have entered the US for return to Brazil.

Map of risk events in the area of Para and Amazonas where illegal logging is under investigation.
Recent legal risk events in timber supply chains in Pará and Amazonas. Source: Timber Risk Map

This is a developing story.

Last updated January 15, 2021 9:49am EST

Concerned about legal risks in wood supply chains? Join TimberCheck™ or check the Timber Risk Map. Want to know where your lumber originated? Start a WoodFlow™. Curious what the forest looks like after the harvest, request access to TimberSat™.