Timber Risk Score: 22 / 100 in 2017. The Timber Legality Risk Assessment contains an evaluation of the risk of illegality in Cameroon for five categories and 21 sub-categories of law. We found:
- Specified risk for 14 sub-categories.
- Low risk for 4 sub-categories.
- No legal requirements for 3 sub-categories
This page provides an overview of the legality risks related to timber produced in Cameroon.
The forests of Cameroon make up a significant portion of the Congo Basin, the world’s second largest forest ecosystem after the Amazon. Forests cover around 18.8 million ha, representing 39.8% of the national territory (FAO, 2015). Of this area, 17 million ha (approximately 75%) is dense, closed semi-deciduous tropical rainforest.
Since 1990, Cameroon’s forest sector has increased its logging activities, which now contributes around 6% of its GDP. Today, Cameroon’s legal timber production has reached approximately 3 million m3. As a result, Cameroon has become the leading exporter of timber products in Africa.
Forest land cover in Cameroon is declining at a rate of around 1% per year, one of the highest deforestation rates in the Congo Basin (European Timber Trade Federation, 2016).
Illegal logging continues to be a major concern in the country and is frequently documented at various stages along the local supply chain. The risks are wide-ranging and appear across all categories of law. If you are sourcing timber from Cameroon you should take care to ensure the extensive risks identified are not present in your supply chains, or have been sufficiently mitigated.
Score: 25 / 100 in 2020
Rank: 149 out of 180 countries in 2020
Log export ban: on more than 20 species of raw logs, excluding Ayous, since 1999 (Forest Legality Initiative, 2016)
VPA status: Implementing
CITES appendix II: Dalbergia spp.,Guibourtia demeusei, G. pellegriniana, G. tessmannii, Pericopsis elata, Prunus africana, Pterocarpus erinaceus
FSC Certified Forest Area: 341,708 hectares (3 January 2019)
- Find out the different sources of legal timber
- Determine which source type your timber comes from
|Timber source type||Description of source type|
Forests under a logging agreement (concession license) in the permanent forest domain (DFP)
Timber from logging agreements (concessions) in the permanent forest domain. The agreements are awarded through calls for tender and by an inter-ministerial committee. They are open to all economic operators in the private sector (national or not).
The exploitation of these forest concessions is based on management plans. The duration of a logging agreement is 15 years, renewable once (for a total of 30 years).
Communal forests in the permanent forest domain (DFP)
Timber from communal forests. Exploitation is reserved primarily for persons of Cameroonian nationality or companies in which they hold the entire share capital or voting rights.
The exploitation of a communal forest is done based on a management plan. The possible permits which can be issued in a communal forest are cut timber sales, exploitation permits and personal felling authorisations.
Cut timber sales or exploitation permits can be attributed only to persons registered with the forestry exploitation sector.
|Authorisation to recover standing trees in non-permanent forest domain (DFNP)||Timber from a permit issued for forest clearance for the implementation of an agricultural or other project.|
Harvested timber removal licence in non-permanent forest domain (DFNP)
|Timber from a title obtained by public auction of sales of wood resulting from a) development projects likely to destroy part of the national forest estate, or b) natural disasters that have destroyed part of the national forest estate.|
Cut timber sale (VC) in the national domain in non-permanent forest domain (DFNP)
|Timber from a cut timber sale (VC) in the national domain is awarded for a renewable period of 3 years. The surface area must not exceed 2,500 ha. Cut sale timber can only be attributed to nationals who are duly registered in the logging sector.|
Community forests (FC); State logging in non-permanent forest domain (DFNP)
|Timber from a community forest. Exploitation is done based on a simple management plan approved by the administration in charge of forests, governed by cut sale timber, or exploitation permit or personal felling authorisation. Each community defines the terms of allocation of logging titles. The logging titles provided above can be attributed only to persons registered with the logging sector.|
Special permit for ebony logging in non-permanent forest domain (DFNP)
|Timber from a special permit issued for ebony logging. This is allowed only in the national domain (non-permanent forest) and prohibited in the permanent forest domain.|
|Seized wood sold at auctions||Timber from seized wood sold at auctions. Seized wood can originate from:
Risk assessment summary
Legal rights to harvest
|Taxes and fees
Timber harvesting activities
Third parties' rights
|Trade and transport
Mitigate the risks in your supply chain
Learn which actions we recommended to mitigate the risks associated with the timber sources from Cameroon.
Source Certified Materials
NEPCon believes that third party certification (for example FSC and PEFC certification) can provide strong assurances of the legality of the products they cover. Companies seeking to mitigate the risks of sourcing illegal timber should seek to purchase third party certified materials wherever possible.
While the European Timber Regulation does not include an automatic “green lane” for certified products, it does recognise the value of certification as a tool for risk assessment and mitigation. The European Commission says that companies “may rate credibly certified products as having negligible risk of being illegal, i.e. suitable for placing on the market with no further risk mitigation measures, provided that the rest of the information gathered and the replies to the risk assessment questions do not contradict such a conclusion.”
For more information on using certified materials in your due diligence, including how to assess whether a certification system meets EUTR requirements, see the page on Certification and Due Diligence.
There are five recommended actions to mitigate the risks associated with the timber sources from Cameroon:
1. Fully map your supply chain
- Our supply chain mapping tool can help you do this.
2. Obtain and verify documents
- Forest level documents
- Applicable harvesting permit
- Forest management plan
- Annual work plan
- Annual harvesting plan
- Annual operating plan
- Environmental and/or Social Impact Assessments
- SIGIF Statement
- Tax related documents
- Receipt for payment of the AFR, VAT, VAT and RT
- Attestation for deposit or payment of the bank caution
- Evidence of payment of the selling price
- Proof of payment 13% above the selling price
- Patent title for AR
- Attestation of non-indebtedness/royalties from a competent tax office or tax clearance
- Sale documents. Check they include applicable sales taxes
- Employment related documents
- Certificate of compliance with standards
- A nursing / care agreement with a health centre / a working physician
- Medical records of workers and their families
- Records of medical recruitment visits
- Water quality analyses of water provided to employees and their families
- The work accident register
- Employment contracts
- Certificates of competence for the function they carry out
- Employees’ training reports/certificate
- Employees' pay slips
- Livret sécurité sociale
- Trade and transport related documents
- Import and exports permits
- Certificate of legality of the supplier
- Trade permits
- Transport documents
- Booklet (DF10)
3. Consult stakeholders
- Neighbours, local communities and others confirm that land tenure rights are clear
- Authorities confirm the validity of harvesting permit
- Financial authority confirms that all sales, income and profit taxes have been paid
4. Carry out on-site verification
- Confirm that the contents of the harvesting plans are adhered to in the field
- Confirm that harvesting is carried out within permitted boundaries of the harvesting permit
- Confirm that tree species or selected trees found within the FMU for which felling is prohibited are marked in the field
- Confirm that low-impact forest operation principles are complied with (compliance with water bodies, compliance with sacred sites, compliance with protected areas, compliance with buffer zones, compliance with forest reserves etc)
- Confirm that environmental restrictions are followed in the field, such as requirements related to soil damage, buffer zones, retention trees, seasonal restrictions etc.
- Confirm the existence and use of personal protective equipment
- Confirm that the minimum age is observed for all personnel involved in harvesting activities
- Confirm that your material matches what has been invoiced and marked
5. Conduct targeted timber testing
- Conduct timber testing on samples of purchasd material to verify the species or origin of timber, where appropriate