Annual imports of wood raw materials from Russia and Ukraine used to be quite modest at around US$20 million, mainly sawnwood and plywood and accounted for less than 1% of the total imports from some 100 sources.
However, imports of raw material from Russia increased sharply in 2018 and 2019. In the first five months of this year wood imports from Russia were 85% above that in 2019. Vietnamese importers are now aware that legality is an issue with timber from Russia and that they may face problems of legality assurance when exporting products manufactured from Russian raw materials.
Vietnamese importers have also been alerted to the risks in importing wood raw materials from Ukraine.
Facing these risks, Le XuanQuan, Chairman of the Dong Nai Association of Timber and Handicrafts (DOWA), said that the local industries need to review their trade procedures and report any suspicious shipments that arrive in the country.
Do Xuan Lap, Chairman of Viforest, said that it is necessary to form and promote horizontal and vertical links between plywood enterprises and furniture manufacturers to secure the supply chain from illegal timber.