Update February 2013: The final guidance document has been made public by the European Commission. To view it click on the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/pdf/Final%20Guidance%20document.pdf
Back in 2002, awareness that illegally logged wood was sold and used in Europe grew rapidly in Europe. The first response of the European Institutions was the FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) Action Plan that was listing a series of actions aiming at curbing down illegal logging. Among these possible actions, the negotiations of bilateral agreements with timber producing and exporting countries – the so-called Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA) -, the adaptation of public procurement policies, the better use of existing instruments (like the CITES Convention or the EU measures against money laundering), capacity building and development aid for the producing countries, private sector voluntary initiatives, etc. Later, the EU felt the need to develop a legislative proposal with a views to “minimize the risk” of placing illegally logged timber on the EU market. The idea of the Regulation was born.
The Regulation requires anyone who supplies or sells timber or a processed timber products for the first time on the EU market to carry out a due diligence, assess the potential risks related to the products (origin, species, etc.) and, if needed, mitigate the risks. Still any subsequent user of the wood or wood products, once it has been placed on the market, must provide basic information on his supplier and his buyer.
CEPI created a simple decision tree, that can be followed as a video, pausing where necessary, to check whether one needs to exercise ‘due diligence’ or not and how to do it. The decision tree brings the issue down to a simple matrix, making it easy for any user of paper or wood products to determine their obligations in this EU Timber Regulation.
Full list of exceptions for the EU Timber Regulation: http://www.euflegt.efi.int/files/attachments/euflegt/summary_eu_timber_regulation_27012012.pdf
European Commission page on the EU timber regulation http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/timber_regulation.htm