Timber imports from Gabon and the EUTR: a misunderstanding at last?


No decision has been taken at EU country level. This issue will be discussed again at the next meeting of the Commission Expert Group/Multi-Stakeholder Platform on Protecting and Restoring the World’s Forests, including the EU Timber Regulation and the FLEGT Regulation

As mentioned last week, at the last meeting, the European Commission and the EUTR/FLEGT group of experts from the 26 Member States put forward a proposal on timber imports from Gabon, aimed at putting a stop to these imports because due diligence has become impossible since the recent coup d'état.

Since then, numerous discussions have taken place both in Gabon and in Europe, and we have been informed that this issue will be discussed again at the next meeting of the EUTR/FLEGT expert group in November. But any misunderstanding must be cleared up: no such decision has been taken at EU country level.


We must now fully reassure the group of EUTR/FLEGT experts that it will be possible to carry out audits and visits to administrations and production sites in Gabon.


Gabon is very committed to sustainable forest management and is at the forefront of traceability issues. What's more, shortly after the coup d'état on 30 August, a return to normal was observed with no hindrance to the movement of goods and people.

More specifically, we can report that :

  • All services involved in the sector are operating at all levels (forestry, customs, economy and finance) without any interruption of activities. No racketeering incidents have been reported.
  • For the time being, forestry companies are trading normally with the authorities.
  • Several companies have obtained their new annual logging permits after 30 August 2023 and have undergone routine forestry inspections.
  • Several companies were also audited for their legality or sustainable management certificates after 30 August; the auditors were able to access all the documents.
  • The CITES scientific authority (ANPN) and the CITES management body at the Ministry level continue to work on all the species listed in Appendix 2 of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
  • All administrative decisions and announcements are published in the usual way (official gazette, press release following the Council of Ministers, public announcements for environmental and social studies, etc).
  • Apart from a curfew at night (from midnight to 5am), all people and goods can move around normally, so auditors and traders can freely visit companies' offices and production sites to check information.
  • The borders are open and the visa services are working, so auditors and importers from abroad can also visit administrations and companies to check their information.
  • We would also like to highlight the recent signing of the decree on the deployment of the traceability system, which has been in development for several years.


    Together with the stakeholders concerned, we will be working to dispel any remaining doubts.

     A meeting with the Brussels authorities is scheduled for next week.

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