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EU Timber Regulation

The EU Timber Regulation makes it illegal to place illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market. In this section CPET provide information, details and updates on this new legislation.

log inspection largePictures © WWF-Canon and © ProForest Panda symbol © 1986 WWF ® WWF Registered TrademarkA new EU Timber Regulation which entered into force on 2 December 2010 will, as of March 13 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 that traders, also further down the supply chain, keep track of what timber or timber products was bought from whom, and where applicable, who it was sold to. 

A competent authority will be appointed to carry out the checks to verify that the law is complied with. Consequences for not complying with the law will include fines, seizure of the timber and immediate suspension of authorisation to trade.

The finalised Regulation text is available for download here; drafts and position papers from the Parliament and Council can be found here.

The information in this section is based on the finalised regulation text. The detailed requirements of the EU legislation are yet to be developed. CPET will provide further details and updates here in due course.

How to ensure compliance

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 and timber products from; and

(b) where applicable, who you have sold the timber and 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 if are producing timber in the EU you have to do your due diligence.

A Due Diligence system requires information on species, volume, country of harvest and where applicable concession of harvest, name and address of your supplier and most importantly evidence of legality. The system also require application of a risk assessment and, where high risk is identified, mitigation to eliminate any potentially illegal timber. Read more about the Due Diligence system here.

Control and Penalties

Monitoring Organisations will be created to establish and evaluate Due Diligence systems, but operators can also set up their own Due Diligence Systems.

Competent authorities will carry out checks to verify if Monitoring Organisations, Operators and Traders comply with the requirements set out in the Regulation.

The Member States shall lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the provisions of this Regulation and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. They must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive and may include, inter alia:

(a) fines proportionate to the environmental damage, the value of the timber or timber products concerned and the tax losses and economic detriment resulting from the infringement;

(b) seizure of the timber and timber products concerned;

(c) immediate suspension of authorisation to trade.

The EU Timber Regulation and the Government's Timber Procurement Policy

The Timber Regulation is also good news for public buyers. It will make it easier to implement the UK Government’s timber procurement policy and request evidence of compliance with the policy from suppliers and contractors.

The EU legislation is not designed to ensure sustainability as required to ensure compliance with the Government’s timber procurement policy; it is, however, expected to create strong incentives for suppliers and contractors to ensure that illegal timber is excluded and to increase sustainable timber in their purchases and traceability of the timber.

CPET can help and guide you also on the new legislation. The detailed requirements of the EU legislation are yet to be developed and CPET will provide further details and update this section in due course.



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