Illegal logging refers to timber harvesting activities that violate national and subnational laws and norms that regulate harvesting activities.
Illegal logging and the international trade in illegally logged timber is a problem for many timber-producing countries, especially in the developing world, but such activities also take place in some European countries. It causes environmental damage, and results in lost revenues. The World Bank estimates the annual global market value of losses from illegal logging of forests at 10-15 million EUR, and annual loses in government revenues of about 5 million EUR.
According to the European Forest Institute (2004), illegal logging is an issue of concern in the Baltic states, the Balkan region, the European part of the Russian Federation and to lesser degree in some Central-Eastern European countries. Unauthorized transformation from forestry to other land-uses, which involves illegal logging, can be found in all European countries.