Forestry (for)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union
1.2. Contact organisation unit E2: Environmental statistics and accounts; sustainable development
1.5. Contact mail address 2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 04/02/2008
2.2. Metadata last posted 28/01/2010
2.3. Metadata last update 22/01/2014

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Eurostat's database covers

1) Production and trade in roundwood and wood products, including primary and secondary products

2) Economic data on forestry and logging, including employment data

3) Sustainable forest management, comprising forest resources (assets) and environmental data.

The main types of primary forest products included in (1) are: roundwood, sawnwood, wood-based panels, pulp, and paper and paperboard. Secondary products include further processed wood and paper products. These products are presented in greater detail; definitions are available. All of the data are compiled from the Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire (JFSQ), except for table (e), which is directly extracted from Eurostat's international trade database COMEXT (HS/CN Chapter 44). The tables in (1) cover details of the following topics:

- Roundwood removals and production by type of wood and assortment (a)

- Roundwood production by type of ownership (b)

- Production and trade in roundwood, fuelwood and other basic products (c)

- Trade in industrial roundwood by assortment and species (d)

- Tropical wood imports to the EU from Chapter 44 of the Harmonised System (e)

- Production and trade in sawnwood, panels and other primary products (f)

- Sawnwood trade by species (g)

- Production and trade in pulp and paper & paperboard (h)

- Trade in secondary wood and paper products (i)

Data in (2) include the output, intermediate consumption, gross value added, fixed capital consumption, gross fixed capital formation and different measures of income of forestry and logging.  The data are in current basic prices and are compatible with National Accounts. They are collected as part of Intergrated environmental and economic accounting for forests (IEEAF), which also covers labour input in annual work units (AWU). 

Under (2), two separate tables cover the number of employees of forestry and logging, the manufacture of wood and products of wood and cork, and the manufacture of paper and paper products, as estimated from the Labour Force Survey results. There are two separate tables because of the change in the EU's classification of economic activities from NACE Rev. 1.1 to NACE Rev. 2 in 2008.

More detailed information on wood products and accounting, including definitions and questionnaires, can be found on our open-access communication platform under the interest group 'Forestry statistics and accounts'

Data in (3) are not collected by Eurostat, but by the FAO, UNECE, Forest Euope, the European Commission's departments for Environment and the Joint Research Centre. They include forest area, wood volume, defoliation on sample plots, fires and areas with protective functions.

3.2. Classification system

The classification used for wood and wood products is an aggregation of the Harmonised System / Combined Nomenclature (available on RAMON Eurostat's Metadata Server).

The classifications used for forestry accounts are NACE Rev. 2 and CPA 2008.

The classifications used for the estimates based on the data of the Labour Force Surveys are NACE Rev. 1.1, NACE Rev. 2 and ISCED for the level of education.

The classification used for tropical wood imports is the Harmonised System (HS) 2012, using all of Chapter 44 and, separately, the identified tropical items of Chapter 44. The Combined Nomenclature of the EU (CN) 2012 was used for the extraction, which is more detailed than the HS (eight digits instead of 6).   

3.3. Coverage - sector

Forestry and logging, Manufacture of wood and wood products, Manufacture of pulp, paper and paper products, collection of paper for recycling.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Forestry statistics cover the production of and trade in wood products for the EU and EFTA countries. Production is reported in physical units, while trade in basic products is covered in both monetary and physical units. Trade in secondary products is covered in monetary units only. Eurostat receives data on request from its partner organisations in the Inter-Secretariat Working Group on Forest Sector Statistics (UNECE, FAO, ITTO and Eurostat) and publishes them for the candidate countries, Canada, USA, the Russian Federation, China, India, Indonesia and Brazil.

Removals of roundwood  comprise all quantities of wood felled and removed from the forest and other wooded land or other felling sites. They are measured in cubic metres over bark (including the bark). Roundwood production is measured in cubic metres under bark (without bark). The data on production are also presented by ownership categories private forests, state forests and other publicly owned forests. The collection includes information on the total trade of each country and on its trade with countries outside the EU (extra-EU trade). The sum of extra-EU trade shows how the EU performs as a single market.

Detailed information on wood products and definitions can be found on our open-access communication platform under the interest group 'Forestry statistics and accounts'.   

3.5. Statistical unit

The units for the data on removals are private owners, state owners and other public owners  of forests. For wood products, the unit is the enterprise.

In each country, different organisations/associations represent companies that supply and use roundwood and/or trade in roundwood and wood-products. Data are generally collected from the users of roundwood (the wood industry companies or companies that trade in roundwood). There are however different methods used for the collection of basic data, e.g. in Sweden, the data on removals rely partly on the National Forest Inventories. In Finland, data are collected from roundwood buyers, i.e. wood industry companies.

The accounting data represent an aggregate for the economic activities of forestry and logging in each country. 

3.6. Statistical population

The statistical population is assortments of raw wood, primary wood and paper products, and secondary wood and paper products.

For the accounting data, the population consists of all enterprises engaged in forestry and logging.

3.7. Reference area

The data on wood products cover the EU Member States and EFTA countries, the candidate countries, Canada, USA, the Russian Federation, China, India, Indonesia and Brazil. Eurostat is responsible for compiling the data for the EU Member States and EFTA countries and receives the data for the other countries from the UNECE and FAO.

The data on accounting cover the EU Member States and EFTA countries.

All data for France on wood products and on accounting cover only mainland France without the overseas territories and dominions French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique or Réunion.

Data on tropical wood imports covers Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Ghana, Indonesia, Liberia and the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville). These countries have already signed or agreed Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU, as part of the EU's policy to fight illegal logging and associated trade. This policy was defined in 2003 with the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan. Licenses are to be issued by the countries that have agreed a bilateral VPA with the EU once the VPA agreements are concluded and legality assurance systems are implemented. The exporting countries must take measures to ensure that only legally harvested timber bears a license. See also the 2012 Pocketbook on Energy, transport and environment indicators, p. 186.

In addition, we publish data on tropical wood imports from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guyana, Honduras, Malaysia and Vietnam. These countries are currently negotiating VPAs with the EU.

The total imports from all twelve countries show the potential amounts of verified legal timber that could one day enter the EU. For this table, the EU includes all French overseas territories and dominions (Fr. Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion, Mayotte, etc.). See also Eurostat's metadata on international trade.   

3.8. Coverage - Time

The data on wood products are available from 1992 onwards; those on accounting from 1976-2004 (historical series) and from 2004 onwards (new time series).

Imports of tropical wood are available from 1999 onwards.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure Top

The unit of measurement is the cubic metre (1000 m³) for roundwood, sawnwood, wood-based panels, veneer sheets, plywood, particleboard and fibreboard. For wood pulp and paper, the unit is the metric tonne (1000 t). Monetary values are in national currency (Euro or other) in current basic prices.

The data on imports of tropical wood are in tonnes and Euro.

5. Reference Period Top

Calendar year. For the imports of tropical wood, the last two years are provided in months because it takes at least one year for the trade data to become complete.  

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Both sets of data compiled by Eurostat are based on gentlemen's agreements.

The world-wide collection of forestry statistics is carried out by the Inter-Secretariat Working Group (IWG) on Forest Sector Statistics, consisting of Eurostat, the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) and ITTO (International Tropical Timber Organization). The primary tool is the annual Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire, which is used by all four partners to collect data using a set of harmonised product aggregations, codes and definitions. Each agency is responsible for a certain number of countries; for Eurostat, these are the EU and EFTA countries. After validation, the partners share the data and use it in publications. Co-operation is organised through the annual meetings of the IWG.

The accounting data are collected by Eurostat with the IEEAF questionnaire. 

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

JFSQ: data suppression for at least three countries per product when required, with the aim of publishing EU totals. This was done manually in the past and will be maintained for those years. Nowadays, so much is estimated by us that we decided to no longer publish our estimates per country; this means that confidentiality is no longer a problem because we will only publish what is reported to us (and only transmit to our partners what is reported).

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Data release is announced on Eurostat's website (select language and release calendar). Data are updated at least twice per year.

8.2. Release calendar access

Not available

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on it's website (see item 10 - 'Dissemination format') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Annual for the accounting data and the Labour Force Survey estimates. Biannual for the wood products data (preliminary data in July, final data in November) and the imports of tropical wood. 

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

News releases on-line

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Data are also presented in more general publications such as the Eurostat Yearbook, Key figures on Europe, the Pocketbook on Energy, transport and environment indicators, the Pocketbook on Agricultural statistics and Statistics Explained.

Our data are used for the annual report on rural development (DG AGRI), the UNECE's Forest Products Annual Market Review, and Forest Europe's report on the State of Europe's Forests (every 4-5 years).

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on-line at Eurostat or on the FAO's slightly less detailed international database FAOSTAT.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not available

10.5. Dissemination format - other

For more information please see the Eurostat's

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire (JFSQ) and its definitions are available on the communication platform under 'Forestry statistics and accounts', as is the Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting for Forests questionnaire.

For documentation on the way the Labour Force Surveys are conducted, please refer to the metadata published under that topic by Eurostat.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Wardle, Ph., Van Brusselen, B., Michie, B. and A. Schuck (2003): Forest Products Statistical Information Systems of EU and EFTA; European Forest Institute Research Reports No. 16, ISBN-13: 978 90 04 12919 1; ISBN-10: 90 04 12919 7; 166 pp.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Done by viewing the time series of physical quantities and of unit values. Our JFSQ data are checked for outliers by UNECE before being forwarded to FAO for publication in the FAOSTAT database.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Wardle, Ph., Van Brusselen, B., Michie, B. and A. Schuck (2003): Forest Products Statistical Information Systems of EU and EFTA; European Forest Institute Research Reports No. 16, ISBN-13: 978 90 04 12919 1; ISBN-10: 90 04 12919 7; 166 pp.

This contains a description of how each country compiles its data for the JFSQ.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Policy-makers including rural development, energy and climate action policy; researchers.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Not available

12.3. Completeness

Wood products: data delivery is a problem due to mergers of enterprises and enterprises leaving the EU. All missing data have to be estimated in order to produce EU-27, EU-15, EU-12 and Eurozone totals.

Accounting: 21 Member States and two EFTA countries provide data. 

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

Wood products: the data providers are the best national experts available and they are encouraged to make informed estimates when they are not provided with data. However, the concentration of the industry and its displacement to other areas of the world mean that confidentiality problems are increasing.

Accounting: agreement with national accounts. 

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable

13.3. Non-sampling error

When we estimate production based on the balance of imports and exports ("apparent consumption"), we are producing a very conservative estimate, the quality of which also depends on the quality of intra-EU trade data, which we know to be poor. We have developed a routine for "correcting" the trade data prior to using it.   

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Wood products: 11 months after the end of the reference year.

Accounting: 18 months after the end of the reference year.

14.2. Punctuality

Up to 4 months late for wood products, mainly due to trade data taking longer and longer to compile at the national level. 

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical


15.2. Comparability - over time

Good for wood products since 1992. For accounting, there was a break in the series in 2004.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

The following publications and links contain more information on the definitions and also the data that are produced by other organisations:

- FAO Forest Products Yearbook,

- FAOSTAT database

- UNECE/FAO Publications, Timber Bulletin

- UNECE - Timber Database

Specialised energy enquiries usually find that fuelwood is underreported in the JFSQ. Our data providers are aware of this; studies are under way to estimate informal household use of fuelwood in the countries.

Recovered paper data from the JFSQ agree quite well with data on waste paper and paperboard from waste statistics.

15.4. Coherence - internal

The data published are coherent.

16. Cost and Burden Top

- Joint Eurostat/UNECE/FAO/ITTO Forest Sector Questionnaire: 12 man-months for Eurostat and 0.5 man-months for the data provider

- Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting for Forests: 12 man-months for Eurostat and 0.5 man-months for the data provider

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Corrections by the country correspondents are encouraged.

17.2. Data revision - practice

All changes in methodology are discussed in the meetings of the Inter-Secretariat Working Group on Forest Sector Statistics and in Eurostat's Working group on Forestry Statistics

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

JFSQ: The basic data collection is carried out by country correspondents in the Member States and EFTA countries.

Data are generally collected by the correspondents from the users of roundwood (the wood industry companies or companies that trade in roundwood).

The main data providers vary by countries. For example in Finland, removal statistics are reported by the Forest Research Institute, production data are collected by the Forest Industries Federation and the trade data by customs. In some countries the Statistical Office or the Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for data reporting. 

IEEAF: NSIs and research institutes working on their behalf; the results must be compatible with national accounts.

Trade in tropical timber: Eurostat's COMEXT database.

18.2. Frequency of data collection


18.3. Data collection

Electronic questionnaires:

- Joint Eurostat/UNECE/FAO/ITTO Forest Sector Questionnaire: JFSQ

- Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting for Forests: IEEAF

18.4. Data validation

JFSQ: The members of the Eurostat/UNECE/FAO/ITTO Inter-Secretariat Working Group on Forest Sector Statistics have agreed on basic validation rules aimed at identifying and eliminating as many inconsistencies as possible. The countries are requested to comment on any changes or estimates resulting from the validation procedure.

The other partners of the JFSQ check the foreign trade data we produce using Comext against the Comtrade data; often there are discrepancies due to the different philosophies behind the two systems.

IEEAF: usually, countries agree to our changes.

Any changes are discussed with the countries before publication

18.5. Data compilation

JFSQ: European aggregates are calculated by Eurostat (FAME) by summing up the different products by major product group and by country.

IEEAF: only 21 Member States send in data, so no EU aggregates are calculated.

18.6. Adjustment

The country correspondents are responsible for the data quality. However, Eurostat validates and corrects the data in consultation with the correspondents. For some products, conversion factors are used, e.g. for converting data in m2 to m3 or tonnes to m3.

19. Comment Top

Not available

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top