Legislation regulating how harvested material is classified in terms of species, volumes and qualities in connection with trade and transport. Incorrect classification of harvested material is a well-known method to reduce/avoid payment of legality prescribed taxes and fees. Risk relates to material traded under illegal false statements of species, quantities or qualities. This could cover cases where this type of false classification is done to avoid payment of royalties or taxes or where trade bans on product types or species are implemented locally, nationally or internationally. This is mainly an issue in countries with high levels of corruption (CPI<50).

Government decision no. 387/2016 Rules on the origin, trade and transport of timber (Art. 11, line 4a) [HOTĂRÂRE nr. 387 din 27 mai 2016 privind stabilirea unei măsuri temporare pentru aplicarea Normelor referitoare la provenienţa, circulaţia şi comercializarea materialelor lemnoase, la regimul spaţiilor de depozitare a materialelor lemnoase şi al instalaţiilor de prelucrat lemn rotund, precum şi a unor măsuri de aplicare a Regulamentului (UE) nr. 995/2010 al Parlamentului European şi al Consiliului din 20 octombrie 2010 de stabilire a obligaţiilor ce revin operatorilor care introduc pe piaţă lemn şi produse din lemn, aprobate prin Hotărârea Guvernului nr. 470/2014]:

http://legislatie.just.ro/Public/DetaliiDocument/178912

Government decision no 470/2014 regarding the approval of the technical regulations for origin, transport and trade of wood, [HOTĂRÂRE nr. 470 din 4 iunie 2014 pentru aprobarea Normelor referitoare la provenienţa, circulaţia şi comercializarea materialelor lemnoase, la regimul spaţiilor de depozitare a materialelor lemnoase şi al instalaţiilor de prelucrat lemn rotund, precum şi a unor măsuri de aplicare a Regulamentului (UE) nr. 995/2010 al Parlamentului European şi al Consiliului din 20 octombrie 2010 de stabilire a obligaţiilor ce revin operatorilor care introduc pe piaţă lemn şi produse din lemn]:

http://legislatie.just.ro/Public/DetaliiDocument/158885

Ministerial Order 1464/13.07.2016 for the modification of the Methodology regarding the organisation and functioning of SUMAL, user obligation, as well as the structure and method for transmitting standardised informations, approved by Ministerial Order 837/2014 [OM 1464/2016 pentru completarea Metodologiei privind organizarea şi funcţionarea SUMAL, obligaţiile utilizatorilor SUMAL, precum şi structura şi modalitatea de transmitere a informaţiilor standardizate, aprobată prin Ordinul ministrului delegat pentru ape, păduri şi piscicultură nr. 837/2014]:

http://legislatie.just.ro/Public/DetaliiDocument/180190

Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests
Forest Guards
Traffic police

Delivery documents

Online Wood tracking code

SUMAL agent records

Government sources

Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests, Press release on the public debate of the Catalogue of virgin and quasi-virgin forests in Romania and the launch of the “Forest inspector” application:

http://www.mmediu.ro/app/webroot/uploads/files/2016-07-19_Comunicat_discurs_conferinta_Paduri.pdf

Ministry of Environment, Department for Water, Forests and Fisheries, Directorate for Policies, Strategies and Projects in Forestry, Communicate no. 90171/04.11.2014 for approval of the methods to estimate the volume of wood for harvesting,

http://apepaduri.gov.ro/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Metode-dend.-12.11.2014-draft-M.GH_..pdf

Non-Government sources

Agerpres, 30.07.2016, Prime minister Ciolos asks for the improvement of the Forest Inspector application:

http://www.agerpres.ro/politica/2016/07/30/ciolos-am-cerut-ministerului-mediului-ca-impreuna-cu-mai-sa-gaseasca-solutii-pentru-imbunatatirea-aplicatiei-inspectorul-padurii–23-19-46

Modele matematico-auxologice şi tabele de producţie pentru arborete – Giurgiu, V., Drăghiciu, D., Editura Ceres, 2004
Lucia Varga (Vice-president of the Commission for Environment and Ecological Balance, Chamber of Deputies) – The necessary firewood is approx. 13-14 millions cubic meters [Lucia Varga – necesarul de lemn de foc este de circa 13-14 milioane de metri cubi]

http://www.forestnews.ro/anchete/1683-bucuresti/4123-lucia-varga-necesarul-de-lemn-de-foc-este-de-circa-13-14-milioane-de-metri-cubi

Overview of Legal Requirements

The classification of quantities by species and quality is done first in the inventory of marked tress, and then in the drafting of the VED and the registration of the harvesting site in the SUMAL application.
In the case of stumpage sale, the whole volume of the marked trees becomes a maximum threshold for all the delivery documents issued for that site. In the case of timber sold from the primary platform, the logs are sorted and sold (by auction or by negotiation) in lots or firewood stere.

After harvest, the timber collected at the landing site (primary platform) is transported to log yards or processing facilities accompanied by a delivery document which states the origin of the timber (FME, FMU, compartment), the assortments (roundwood, firewood) and the volume. Logs with a diameter at the small end of less than 20 cm are marked with rectangular stamps and recorded piece-by-piece in the delivery document (length, diameter at half length, species, volume). Logs less than 20 cm at the small end are recorded by the number of similar pieces and by their dimensions. Firewood that is split and arranged in stere is recorded only as stere and its equivalent in cubic metres (using a conversion factor of approximately 0.6).

Description of risk

Certain risks can arise, in the case of stumpage sale, from the differences between the estimated volume and the more accurate measurements at the primary platforms. Any underestimates in the diameter or heights measured in the field can be transmitted throughout the chain of custody, especially if the WOOD Tracking system is not applied properly. Also, there is no cross-check of assortments in the SUMAL system, which can lead to overestimated volumes of industrial wood, which is also affected by the overestimation of conversion factors. As there is no cross-checking between the volumes of assortments in the VED and the volumes from the harvesting results, there is a certain risk that that firewood resulted from a certain harvesting site is sold on the local market (with very short transportation distances and low risk of being identified by transport control) and instead of it, industrial wood would be introduced in the custody chain. This wood is most likely to originate in underestimates of the timber measurements, both in the stand or in the primary platform.
This possibility can be sustained also by the estimations of the National Institute for Statistics, which evaluated that the wood volume needed for heating in Romania is around 13 mil. m3, out of which approx. 5 mil. m3 is considered to be harvested illegally. This correlates also with the results of the National Forest Inventory that states that 8.8 million cubic meters have been cut illegally each year between 2010 and 2013 (cited as justification for Gov. decision no. 51/2016).
This Government decision should improve (due to very high penalties involved) the situation forest harvesting correctitude. However, given the very recent application date of this GD, its effects have to be evaluated in future.

Risk conclusion

This indicator has been evaluated as specified risk. Identified laws are not upheld consistently by all entities and/or are often ignored, and/or are not enforced by relevant authorities.

Generic

  • Products shall be correctly classified (species, quantities, qualities etc.) on sales documents, customs declarations and other legally required documents.
  • Evidence shall be provided upon request (photographs of labelling).
  • Physical control should verify that the present material equals what has been invoiced and marked.

Country Specific

  • Cross-verify volume of assortments from the VED and delivery documents.