Illegal activities in the timber industry undermine the efforts of responsible operators; it is a global problem with significant negative economic, environmental and social impact.
In 2013 the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) became applicable in all EU Member States.
The scope of the EU Timber Regulation is based on the CN-code that is also used by customs to categorise products.
The following products with their CN-codes are included:
The following products with their CN-codes are exempted:
Click here to search the database and find a product's CN-code.
Usage of recycled timber is encouraged by the EU, therefore used timber and timber products that "have completed their lifecycle", and would otherwise be disposed of as waste are excluded also from the scope of the EUTR.
If you are an operator, a person that places timber (products) on the market, then you should:
If you are a trader, a person who sells or buys timber (products) already placed on the market by operators, then you should provide traceability of the products in the supply chain and keep records:
Due diligence means that operators have to do a risk assessment to minimise the risk that they are involved in products with illegally harvested timber.
The are three key elements:
You must have access to information describing the timber species and timber products, country of harvest (concessions), quantity, details of the supplier and information on compliance with national legislation and customs regulation;
You should assess the risk of illegal timber in your supply chain, based on the information mentioned above and taking into account criteria set out in the regulation;
If the assessment shows that there is a risk of illegal timber in the supply chain that risk can be mitigated by requiring additional information and verification from your supplier.
Additionally Regulation (EU) 607/2012 provides detailed rules for due diligence systems. It includes the obligation for operators to apply due diligence on each type of timber for each supplier at regular intervals of less than 12 months.
Operators shall be able to demonstrate how information was gathered, what criteria were used for the risk assessment and how decisions on risk mitigation were taken.
The corruption perception index (CPI) is a score that gives you information about the risk of corruption in countries that harvest or export your timber (products). The CPI score can be used in the risk assessment; countries with an index score below 50 may require extra attention.
The leading timber producing countries and their 2020 scores are:
USA (67), India (40), China (42), Brazil (38), Canada (77), Russia (30), Indonesia (37), Ethiopia (38), Nigeria (25) and Congo (19).
You can find all corruption scores at: cpi.transparency.org
The EU has recognised so-called monitoring organisations that have developed systems to support operators with the execution of the due diligence obligations.
On 15 December 2020 the following organisations were recognised:
Formally FSC, PEFC and similar service providers are not recognised as part of the EU Timber Regulation but their certificates provide valuable information about the timber, the supply chain and it supports you in assessing and mitigating your risks. Always compare the origin, species and quantity mentioned on the certificates above with your own order details.
FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) negotiates voluntary partnership agreements with timber-producing countries to create a legal framework for licenses and trade.
Timber products from a VPA- country should come with a valid FLEGT license dealt with by EU customs, a FLEGT license proves that timber is legal.
CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of WildFloraandFauna)issues permits for timber that complies with national legislation in the exporting country. Timber products witha valid CITES license are from a legal source.
Check the European Commission's website for more information on timber: EC Environment.