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U.S. blocks Peruvian timber company’s shipments

The Interagency Committee on Trade in Timber Products, which was stood up as part of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, has ordered CBP to block shipments from Inversiones Oroza after determining the company is engaged in illegal logging.

   The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has ordered Customs and Border Protection to block future timber imports from Peruvian exporter Inversiones Oroza for its persistent violations of the Forest Annex of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement.
   This is the first enforcement action taken by the Interagency Committee on Trade in Timber Products from Peru against illicit timber shipments from the South American country.
   Last year, the Timber Committee requested that Peru verify that a specific timber shipment from Oroza complied with all related Peruvian laws and regulations. The request was made following reports that Oroza was involved in illegal logging activities.  
   “The verification process conducted by Peru revealed that significant portions of the Oroza shipment were not compliant with Peru’s law, regulations, and other measures on harvest and trade of timber products,” USTR said.
   As part of the U.S. directive, CBP will deny entry to Oroza’s shipments for three years or until the Timber Committee determines that the company has complied with all applicable laws, regulations, and other measures of Peru governing the harvest of and trade in timber products.
   “While the Forest Annex has catalyzed meaningful reforms in Peru’s forestry sector, the verification process last year highlighted the systemic challenges that remain in combatting illegal logging in Peru,” USTR said. 
   In November 2016, the Peruvian government took action to address ongoing challenges to protecting its forests, including holding all participants involved in the Oroza shipment accountable, amending export documentation requirements to improve traceability, stepping up timber inspections, and implementing a timber tracking system in the Amazon corridor.  
   USTR said “significant work” continues for Peru in combating illegal logging and it plans to closely monitor the country’s enforcement progress.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.