On February 6, 2020, the President of Ibama, Eduardo Bim, met with members of associations and timber companies from 11:30 a.m. On the 25th of the same month, Bim removed the permit for the export of timber.
In addition to Bim, Olivaldi Azevedo, then director of environmental protection at Ibama (later exonerated by Environment Minister Ricardo Salles), and Joaquim Álvaro Pereira Leite, director of the ministry’s forestry department, were also present. According to a report in the newspaper O Globo, Salles did not attend the meeting.
The authorities received Leandro Rymsza, Director of Lamapa (Laminados de Madeiras do Pará), Juan Perzan, Director of the Tradelink Group, Aldyr Foekel, Director of CRAS Logística Import and Export, and Carlos Roberto Vergueiro Pupo, President of Aimex (Association of Export Industries of ) Woods of Pará State and Amapá State) and attorneys and MP Victor Dias (PSDB-PA).
In the document revoking the permit to export wood, Bim contradicts Ibama’s technical advice and states that “even without the guarantee in question,” the environmental inspection is not affected “.
Without a permit, only the DOF (Document of Forestry Origin) is required for export, a document that supports the transport of wood within the country to the ports.
For example, one of the technical notes that make up the Bim decision states: “Both standards [que designam DOF e autorização para exportação] have meaning in their correct application niches and must be retained “.
According to this information, a cargo control is provided for in the license for the export of wood, which is not the case with the DOF, since only a document analysis is required.
However, Bim argues that the DOF alone would allow an inspection.
“Therefore, the restriction of the DOF export to a mere transport function is inappropriate and results from an isolated, old reading,” says Bim in an internal order to which Folha had access. “To impose an additional license on the exporter is not justified by the principle of proportionality or the principle of efficiency and economy,” he says in another excerpt.
Before the meeting with the timber sector, the problem began after customs authorities in Europe and the US warned Brazil not to export timber without Ibama’s authorization, a report by Reuters news agency showed.
Back in 2019, Bim had already signed an order confirming the agreement that a buyer of wood at the DOF cannot be held responsible if the document is subsequently found to have been fraudulent.
Therefore Ibama inspectors cannot hold this buyer responsible “without evidence of involvement or awareness of the illegality”.
The order does not initially refer to the confiscation of the wood, but only to the release from liability. Then the understanding was broadened by the Directorate of Environmental Protection to prevent the concern as well. Bim had no objection.
In practice, according to technicians heard in the report, this has resulted in the persistence and turnover of illegal timber in the market, a reduction in the caution of buyers and a loss of inspection power by Ibama.