The US Lacey Act, the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act all represent major milestones in international eflorts to curb illegal logging through application of trade controls. While strong policies are critically important for mainstreaming responsible forestry and trade, there is often a gap between the development and roll-out of market- based legislation and the ability of companies to understand and comply with these requirements.

Acting as a support to these policy developments is The Common Framework for Assessing Legality of Forestry Operations, Timber Processing and Trade – also known as the Common Legality Framework – a simple checklist developed by WWF/GFTN and TRAFFIC to enable governments and companies to access and understand relevant aspects of laws, regulations, administrative circulars and contractual obligations that aflect forestry operations, timber processing and trade. When the Common Legality Framework is applied to a specific country, this is known as a National Legality Framework.

Use of the Frameworks directly supports implementation of FLEGT and bilateral Voluntary Partnership Agreements, the Lacey Act and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act by promoting equitable and just solutions to the illegal logging problem that do not have an adverse eflect on poor people; helping partner countries to build systems to verify timber has been harvested legally; promoting transparency of information and policy reform; helping companies to meet legal requirements; and building the capacity of civil society and partner country governments to participate in these processes.