Timber Risk Score: 22 / 100 in 2017. The Timber Legality Risk Assessment contains an evaluation of the risk of illegality in Liberia 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 Liberia.
Please use the following information at your discretion.
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Liberia has 4.2 million ha of forest, covering 43% of its land area. This area has decreased at an average of 0.7% per year for the last 25 years.
Primary or naturally regenerated forest comprises 99% of the total area, while the remainder is planted forest.
All forests are owned by the state, except for those that belong to communities and those planted on private lands or deeded lands.
Most timber produced in Liberia is used domestically. Of the timber that is exported, most goes to China and small proportions go to other Asian countries and to Europe.
Several legality risks are present in Liberia timber supply chains. The risks are wide-ranging and appear across all categories of law. If you are sourcing timber from Liberia you should take care to ensure the extensive risks identified are not present in your supply chains, or have been sufficiently mitigated.
Score: 28 / 100 in 2020
Rank: 137 out of 180 countries in 2020
Log export ban: 2003-2006, UN Security Council-imposed sanctions on timber exports from Liberia
There are currently no armed conflicts in Liberia according to the Council on Foreign Relations' Global Conflict Tracker
VPA status: Implementing
CITES appendix II: Cyathea camerooniana, Pterocarpus erinaceus, Dalbergia spp
- Find out the different sources of legal timber
- Determine which source type your timber comes from
|Timber source type||Description of source type|
Forest Management Contract (FMC)
Timber from state owned land under concessions on lands of 50,000-400,000 hectares.
|Timber Sales Contract||Timber from state owned natural forests from concessions no greater than 5,000 ha. The contract must not exceed three years.|
|Private Use Permit (PUP)||
Timber from private land, with the consent of the land owner.
In 2013, the President issued Executive Order 44 suspending the issuance of PUPs. However, some PUPs in existence prior to 2013 continue to this day.
|Forest Use Permit (FUP)||Timber from community-owned natural forests. The area must be less than 1,000 ha.|
Timber from a community forest. A Community Forest Agreement allows the community to access, manage, use and benefit from the forest resources.
Risk assessment summary
Legal rights to harvest
|Taxes and fees
Timber harvesting activities
Third parties' rights
|Trade and transport
Specified risk species
|Common/trade name||Scientific name||Risk information|
Risk of illegal trading
Risk of illegal trading
African rosewood, African teak, African barwood
Risk of illegal trading
Mitigate the risks in your supply chain
Learn which actions we recommended to mitigate the risks associated with the timber sources from Liberia
There are six recommended actions to mitigate the risks associated with timber sources from Liberia.
1. Fully map your supply chain
- Our supply chain mapping tool can help you do this.
2. Obtain and verify documents
- Land tenure and business documents
- Documents showing tenure for the correct time periods
- Concession license agreements
- Forest management plans, including harvesting inventories and pre-harvest exercises
- Annual operating or harvesting plans. Check that the information is consistent with approved forest management plans; maps of protected areas and the FMU do not overlap; tree species or selected trees that are prohibited from being felled are listed in the operational plans
- Harvesting and extraction permits
- Tax-related documents
- Evidence of payment of forestry stumpage fees for the current year and the year before verification
- Evidence of payment of forest royalties and share paid to communities
- Sales documents - check that they include sales taxes and that the volumes, species and qualities match those given in transport documents
- Receipts for payment of sales taxes
- Certificates of compliance with standards
- Evidence that any third-party employed to pay taxes has actually paid them to the appropriate authority
- Harvesting documents
- Environmental and/or social impact assessments
- Reports of field verifications by the company and/or forest authorities
- Employment-related documents
- Evidence that workers have access to professional medical help
- Records of meetings of the health and safety committee
- Accident records
- Labour contracts. Check employees' nationality, age
- Employee pay slips. Check that they are paid regularly and have a social security number
- Employee training reports
- Third parties rights documents
- Demonstration that communities benefit from and are compensated for the use of their land
- Reports of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) showing social payments
- Social agreements between companies and the affected communities
- Trade and transport documents
- CITES export, import and re-export certificates
3. Consult stakeholders
- Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy confirm that land is unencumbered by conflicting claims
- Neighbours, local communities and/or landowners confirm that land tenure rights are clear and not overlapping
- A lawyer versed in the forest sector confirms full compliance with the bidding process for concession permits
- The financial authority verifies that all required income and profit taxes have been paid
- Stakeholder consultation confirms that customary rights are observed during harvesting activities
- Stakeholder consultation confirms that stakeholders were consulted for PUPs or FUPs
- Consultation with communities confirms that the Community Forest Management Community is truly representative of the community
- Consultation with communities and Community Forestry Development Committees confirms free, prior and informed consent was granted
- The Forest Development Authority attests the agreement between communities and companies
- Consultation with health and safety committee members to verify accuracy of documentary information
4. Carry out on-site verification
- Confirm that legally established procedures for surveying, managing and protecting endangered or threatened species within the management unit are followed
- Confirm that harvesting takes place within the limits of the FMU and within the limits of the harvesting permit
- Confirm that information regarding area, species, volumes and other information given in the harvesting permit is correct
- Confirm that tree species or selected trees found within the FMU for which felling is prohibited are marked in the field
- Confirm that harvesting does not take place in prohibited areas
- Confirm that environmental restrictions and low impact forest operation principles are followed in the field. This includes requirements related to soil damage, buffer zones, retention trees, seasonal restrictions, compliance with water bodies, compliance with sacred sites, etc.
- Check inscriptions over all timbers of the DF10 N°, cutting down date, Title N°, Operator name, Annual logging unit Number
- Analyse the quality of the water provided to employees and their families
- Verify working conditions are in accordance with the law
- Verify that equipment is maintained, working practices are safe and personal protective equipment is used (unless a strong, independent health and safety committee can testify that this is the case)
5. Avoid / do not buy
- Avoid using third parties to make tax payments (or mitigate the risk that the third party does not pass the taxes on to the appropriate authority)
6. Conduct targeted timber testing
- Conduct timber testing on samples of purchasd material to verify the species or origin of timber, where appropriate