The EUTR came into effect in 2013, making it illegal to place timber on the EU market if it was illegal in country of harvest, and requiring companies to implement due diligence measures to reduce the risk of illegal timber entering the EU. The LIFE Legal Wood project aims to further strengthen implementation of the EUTR.
The EUTR Implementation Report (2016) noted challenges to effective implementation, including:
A report summarizing EUTR checks by CAs from June-Nov 2017 shows that 40% of timber importing operators did not have appropriate due diligence systems in place, compared to only 8% of domestic operators. The report “reveals a huge disparity between how countries monitor operators placing imported timber on the EU market. Some countries importing significant quantities of tropical high-risk timber are carrying out very few checks on companies. Such disparity creates a loophole, whereby companies know they will face minimal or no checks in some countries. The only way to close this loophole is by ensuring adequate enforcement across the EU.” (www.flegt.org, "Uneven EUTR enforcement creates loophole for illegal timber")
Research from Forest Trends found that EU timber imports from conflict countries, which are at high risk of being illegal, have increased 14 percent, and have been rising steadily in at least 12 EU MSs since 2010 (Forest Trends, 2018).
The LIFE Legal Wood project, a project supported by the EU LIFE Programme, aims to create a higher level of implementation of the EUTR among the EU's thousands of SMEs and to help them make risk assessment and due dilligence an integral constructive element within their business and administrative systems to comply with the requirements of the EUTR
For more information on the project, click here.
To reduce illegal logging and improve sustainable forest management globally through improved compliance, monitoring and enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation among key duty holders.
The project will focus activities on the 6 EU countries with the highest volumes of timber imports, including high risk tropical timber: Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Netherlands.
The project will be tailored to the specific circumstances of each country. In the Netherlands e.g. the goal is to focus activities on sectors which lack behind in awareness and compliance of the EUTR.
Probos expert(s) involved: Mark van Benthem, Jan Oldenburger, Jasprina Kremers
Partners: NEPCon (project coordinator), FORESNA, Amfori, CESEFOR, Le Commerce du Bois, Baskegur, Conlegno, GD Holz, Etifor SRL and the Competent Authorities of Germany, Belgium and Spain
Client(s): EU LIFE2018
Year(s): 2019 - 2022