Endangered Tree Logs Seized

A total of 73,300 kilos of endangered tree logs were seized by Hong Kong Customs over two days late last month, according to a government state released Tuesday.

Three 20-foot-long shipping containers arriving from Thailand on July 26 and 28 were found to contain wood logs that are suspected to be Dalbergia cochinchinensis, an endangered tree species.

(endangered logs seized by hk customs)

The seizures were made at cargo examination compounds in Tsing Yi and Kwai Chung after customs officers deemed the shipments to be high-risk. The wood, which is believed to have a market value of about HKD10 million (AUD1675056.81), has been confiscated for further investigation.

Also known as Siamese rosewood, the species has become threatened by the furniture trade and demand from China.

(fallen Siamese Rosewood)

According to NGO Environmental Investigation Agency, staff encountered a bed made of Siamese rosewood being sold in China for USD1 million (HKD7.75 million) in 2011.

Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, the maximum penalty for any person found guilty of importing an endangered species without a licence is a HKD5 million fine and two years behind bars.

(The Siamese Rosewood Tree)

Illegal logging has been in the spotlight for years now with Australia’s Department of Agriculture introducing a new law on regulated timber products.  Under the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 – it is now an offense to import illegally logged timber and timber products into Australia. Declarations of due diligence are now required to accompany all regulated timber products into Australia.


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