palo santo legal

Legal supply of palo Santo wood in Peru 2024. What is the reality?


Many importers, distributors and consumers of sticks and incense are wondering about the legality and sustainable origin of legal palo santo from Peru and Ecuador, both major exporters of this wood and its derivatives. Read more in New York times.

Since the use of this wonderful tree is regulated by CITES and must meet several sustainability parameters to be exported, there are companies with little ethical sense that are dedicated to produce and export derivatives with raw material of non-legal origin, using front companies, false forestry guides and unscrupulous suppliers in the area of Piura and Tumbes that are dedicated to market this product in a non-legal way.

These companies have low raw material costs, because they buy illegal palo santo at lower prices, because they do not have costs for forestry permits, reforestation or environmental care and then “regularize” the export with false forestry permits or permits purchased on the black market.

Peruvian Forest police

There are many reports and seizures by the police and the Peruvian forestry service (under the Ministry of Agriculture) who seize large lots of palo santo, here are some news examples (in spanish):

Illegal export of 5 tons of palo santo prevented

6 tn. of illegal palo santo seized

9 tn. of palo santo seized at Callao airport

The impact of this illegal business is important, if we continue with this depredation, this finite resource will soon run out. It is important that all actors in the value chain of this mystical product understand that the origin must be 100% legal to take care of the resource, as well as to know that if a product is too cheap it surely has quality problems or it is an illegal source of palo santo.

The palo santo is a valuable forest resource, since the tree must die naturally (average life 40 years) and must decompose and dry naturally in the sun for a period of 3 to 5 years is impossible that we can have cheap prices in the market, companies in the sector must be aware that it is 100% natural and legal resource has a value that the market should know how to appreciate.

Peruvian Forest Police

There are companies that also sell palo santo of Chinese origin (a kind of common wood varnished with palo santo oil to give scent) and others of cut live trees, the latter are easy to identify because they have a high humidity, being dried artificially, in machines their aroma is not good and usually appear some dark color fungi in the wood. Others simply mix palo santo with palo blanco, this is a variety of palo sibling tree, with similar wood but lighter (almost white) and has a totally different smell.

Another point that subjects the product to high stress in the commercialization is that part of the market demands palo santo with a singular quality, that does not have holes. This makes the resource is selected, being the amount of wood with holes more than 70% of the total, we should understand that the only way to have a 100% natural palo santo is that it has holes, that ensures the natural death and that this tree served as food for many insects for a long time.

From Munay Ki Peru SAC we are committed to continue offering products 100% natural and of legal origin, our philosophy of life makes our customers recognize our work and quality, ensuring that ALL our sources of raw materials are 100% legal and of community origin.


  1. Hi

    We are looking for palo santo oil of high quality (smell it’s very important) for natural perfume for European market. Do you have oils of different grades?

    Do you have cites permit and ifra documents?


Leave Comments