New Law Bans Illegal Wood from EU Markets | WWF
New Law Bans Illegal Wood from EU Markets

Posted on 12 October 2010

The EU Regulation on Illegal Logging cleared its final legislative hurdle on Monday, following the adoption of the proposed draft by the Council of Ministers, effectively issuing a ban on illegal timber. In July, the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a crack down on illegal timber, voting 644-25 in favor of the legislation.
The EU Regulation on Illegal Logging cleared its final legislative hurdle on Monday, following the adoption of the proposed draft by the Council of Ministers, effectively issuing a ban on illegal timber. In July, the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a crack down on illegal timber, voting 644-25 in favor of the legislation.

The new law will require that all operators placing timber products on the market for the first time to ensure that their products have been legally harvested.

"WWF's Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) welcomes this development and looks forward to the day on which Europe is no longer a market for illegal timber. For too long, those striving to operate responsibly, such as companies participating in the GFTN, have been forced to compete on an uneven playing field against less scrupulous operators,” said George White, Head of the GFTN.

“The passing of this Regulation sends a strong message to forest managers, forest communities and governments worldwide that their efforts to act responsibly and within the law is appreciated and now needed within this major market,” he added.

In requiring operators to ensure the legality of their timber products, the Regulation calls for ‘due diligence’ systems to be put in place that address three elements inherent to risk management: access to information, risk assessment and mitigation of the risk identified.

“Combined with the US Lacey Act, this new Regulation begins to close two of the world's major markets to those who act irresponsibly and outside the law. The GFTN will continue to welcome companies that seek guidance on legal compliance and are committed towards taking this first step towards responsible forest management and building a solid foundation for robust and responsible forest products industry," concluded White.
Illegal logging, Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia
© Volker Kess / WWF