Greece relies upon imports to meet its domestic timber and timber product consumption, although the recession has resulted in a significant drop in import volumes. Whereas Greece imported around 3.8 million cubic metres a year before the recession, 2011 imports totalled 1.3 million cubic metres (ETTF 2011). While illegal logging has not traditionally been a significant problem in Greece, austerity measures and rising fuel prices have resulted in a considerable increase in domestic illegal felling for fuelwood. Since Germany is an EU Member State, imports of wood and wood products into the country are now subject to the legality and due diligence requirements of the EU Timber Regulation.
30% of Greece is covered by forests, and the country’s total forest cover has been growing at an average annual rate of 0.8% for the past twenty years. None of the Greece’s primary forests remain; 96% of its forest areas are naturally regenerated, while 4% are forest plantations. 77% are state-owned, while the remaining areas are privately owned.