The Wood Marketing Federation fully supports the EU Timber Regulation which came into force on 3rd March 2013. It has briefed its members and the wider timber industry on its implications including a meeting in Coillte HQ Newtownmountkennedy on Tuesday February 26. Chaired by Paul Harvey, WMF Chairman, presentations were made by:
- Stephen Fitzpatrick, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, who provided an update on the regulation and its implications for the wood industry.
- Ann Weddle, NEPCon UK & Ireland on the role of Monitoring Organisations.
- Pat Neville, Coillte Stewardship & Risk on the Coillte view.
EU TIMBER REGULATION
The European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) came into force on 3rd March 2013. After that date any operator who places timber or timber products on the EU market for the first time must ensure that they have been legally produced.
EUTR places an obligation of due diligence on importers who will face severe penalties if they trade in illegal timber. The Regulation aims to:
- Prohibit the first placing of illegal timber and timber products on the EU market.
- Put an obligation of “due diligence” on operators (those who place timber and products on the EU market) to take measures to verify the legality of timber or timber products traded. They will need to ascertain that the timber they sell in the EU was harvested legally in accordance with the laws of the country where the timber is sourced.
- Insist on basic traceability for traders (other than ‘operators’) to keep records on suppliers and customers
Key aspects of the Regulation will be its policing and monitoring which will be carried out by the following two bodies in each Member State:
- A Competent Authority (CA).
- Monitoring Organisation (MO).
The Irish CA will reside in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and MOs have yet to be appointed either in Ireland or the other Member States. See attached presentation at the WMF meeting on 26th February by Stephen Fitzpatrick, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.