The EU Timber Regulation Act 995/2010 (EUTR) was effective in March 2013 prohibiting the placing of illegally harvested timber in the European marketplace. The regulation has an instrumental part to play to significantly reduce illegal logging in forests worldwide and introduce responsible and sustainable sourcing.
Due to the increasing trend in illegal logging, the effects on forests and the wildlife within them, implementing the controls and measures in the EUTR is a vital action plan to stop our forests and wildlife being obliterated beyond repair.
It sets out obligations on operators and traders to comply with EUTR for timber sourced from inside and outside of the EU:
“It prohibits the placing on the market of illegally harvested timber (i.e. timber harvested in contravention of the applicable legislation in the county of harvest) or timber products derived from such timber”EU Timber Regulation Act 995/2010
“It requires operators placing timber and timber products on the EU market for the first time to exercise ‘due diligence’, i.e. to undertake a risk management exercise to ensure that only legally harvested timber (timber harvested in accordance with the applicable legislation in the county of harvest) or timber products derived from such timber are placed on the EU market”EU Timber Regulation Act 995/2010
‘It requires traders of timber and timber products already placed on the EU market to keep records of their suppliers and customers (‘obligation of traceability’).’EU Timber Regulation Act 995/2010
The regulation applies to all countries in the EU and the EEA (Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland). All EU businesses sourcing timber (worldwide) are obliged to assess their risks and implement controls to ensure that their timber is from a sustainable source.
Who are Operators?
“Any person or business who first places timber on the market. Operator’s must maintain records of any traders that you supply timber to and implement a due diligence system”EU Timber Regulation Act 995/2010
Specific Obligations for Operators
- Operators must not place illegally sourced timber on the market;
- A due diligence system must be implemented and maintained, including robust procedures, controls and measures (article 6);
- Regularly re-evaluate the implemented due diligence system as a demonstration of continual improvement and control over their responsibilities.
Who are Traders?
“Any person or business who sells or buys timber or timber products that have already been placed on the EU market. As a trader you must maintain and keep records for at least five years of 1) those who supplied the timber product to you 2) those you have supplied the timber products to”EU Timber Regulation Act 995/2010
Specific Obligations for Traders
- Traders must identify the operators or traders in their supply chain;
- Obtain and retain the documented information for five years (minimum), ready to supply to competent authorities upon request.