On 7 February the European Commission released the long overdue EU Timber Regulation guidance. This non-legally binding document attempts to explain the provisions of the Regulation 995/2010 “laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market”.
The guidance fails to clarify the provisions related to the terms “operator” and “placing on the market” as defined in articles 2 (b) and (c) of Regulation (EU)995/2010. Instead it modifies the provisions set in the legally binding Regulation and places more burden on European industry, including the forest-based sector.
“Once again the European Commission overlooks the competitiveness of the European industry, putting it at a disadvantage vis-a-vis foreign competitors. And this in spite of the constant pledges for the need to re-industrialise Europe.” said Teresa Presas, CEPI Director General, expressing the sentiment in CEPI.
In addition, by altering the definition of an “operator” three weeks before the Regulation enters into application, the European Commission creates more unclarities for the economic actors dealing with timber and timber products in Europe than it resolves. “The proposed clarifications clearly contradict previous legal interpretations of the Regulation”, adds Bernard de Galembert, CEPI Forest Director.
Note to the Editor
EU Timber regulation guidance document:
CEPI aisbl – The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 520 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 1000 paper mills. Together they represent 25% of world production.