New EU Timber Regulation - 9th May 2012

New EU Timber Regulation Extract from the European Commission website Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market also known as the (Illegal) Timber Regulation counters the trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products through three key obligations: It prohibits the placing on the EU market for the first time of illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber; It requires EU traders who place timber products on the EU market for the first time to exercise 'due diligence'; Once on the market, the timber and timber products may be sold on and/or transformed before they reach the final consumer. To facilitate the traceability of timber products economic operators in this part of the supply chain (referred to as traders in the regulation) have an obligation to Keep records of their suppliers and customers. What is "due diligence"? The core of the 'due diligence' notion is that operators undertake a risk management exercise so as to minimise the risk of placing illegally harvested timber, or timber products containing illegally harvested timber, on the EU market. The three key elements of the "due diligence system" are: Information: The operator must have access to information describing the timber and timber products, country of harvest, species, quantity, details of the supplier and information on compliance with national legislation. Risk assessment: The operator should assess the risk of illegal timber in his supply chain, based on the information identified above and taking into account criteria set out in the regulation. Risk mitigation: When 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 the supplier. The European Commission will adopt more detailed rules on the "due diligence system" by 3rd June 2012. Which products does the Regulation cover? The Regulation covers a broad range of timber products including solid wood products, flooring, plywood, pulp and paper. Not included are recycled products, as well as printed papers such as books, magazines and newspapers. The product scope can be amended if necessary. The Regulation applies to both imported and domestically produced timber and timber products. Timber and timber products covered by valid FLEGT or CITES licenses are considered to comply with the requirements of the Regulation.

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