A new EU Timber Regulation which entered into force on 2 December 2010 will, as of 3 March 2013, make it illegal to place illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market. The legislation will require that due diligence is applied to all timber first placed on the EU market and also that traders, further down the supply chain, keep track of who timber or timber products were bought from, and where applicable, who they were sold to.
The UK will seek to ensure implementation of the regulation is robust and proportionate, that it contains appropriate sanctions for illegal operators, but also ensures that those who trade in legal timber have an open, fair and environmentally sustainable market for their products. A competent authority will be appointed to carry out the checks to verify that the law is complied with
Penalties for not complying with the law have not been decided yet but may include fines, seizure of the timber and immediate suspension of authorisation to trade.
How do I ensure compliance with the EU Timber Regulation?
To ensure compliance with the Timber Regulation the following requirements have to be met:
- If you are a Trader, buying or selling timber or timber products in the EU, you have to be able to identify:
(a) who you bought the timber or timber products from; and
(b) where applicable, who you have sold the timber or timber products to.
This information shall be kept for at least five years and be provided for checks if requested.
- If you are an Operator, ‘placing timber or timber products on the market’ — i.e. if you buy timber or timber products directly from a supplier outside the EU or you are producing timber in the EU — you will have to conduct due diligence.
A Due Diligence system involves providing information on your supply of timber products, including description of species, volume, country of harvest and where applicable concession of harvest, name and address of your supplier and most importantly evidence of compliance with applicable legislation. The system also requires risk assessment of your supply and, where high risk is identified, mitigation to eliminate any potentially illegal timber.
Is the timber / are the timber products I am trading covered by the EU Timber Regulation?
Many wood flooring raw materials are covered under the new regulation’s umbrella. See this page for a full overview of the timber and timber products currently covered by the EU Timber Regulation.
- European Commission website on the Timber Regulation
- Video: Fighting Illegal Logging The New EU Regulation produced on behalf of the EU FLEGT Facility.
- www.illegal-logging.info Managed by Chatham House and funded by UK aid to provide information on the key issues in the debate around illegal logging and the trade in illegal timber, via news stories and key documents, as well as details of relevant events and links to other relevant websites.
- EU FLEGT Facility Hosted and managed by the European Forest Institute (EFI) supports the European Union, Member States and partner countries in implementing the EU FLEGT Action Plan.
Reproduced under Crown Copyright source The Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET)