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Fight against illegal logging

Illegal logging and deforestation contribute to climate change and the loss of biodiversity. This Regulation forbids the placing on the European market of illegally harvested timber, sets out pre-conditions for the marketing of timber and timber products in the European Union (EU) and defines the requirements applying to monitoring organisations.

ACT

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.

SUMMARY

Illegal logging covers any form of harvesting, processing or marketing of timber in violation of the legislation of the country of harvest. Due to the deforestation and damage that they cause, such practices have serious repercussions on the environment, such as loss of biodiversity and an increase in CO2 emissions. Illegal logging also has economic and social repercussions.

Timber and timber products

This Regulation applies not only to imported timber, but also to timber harvested or processed within the European Union. It covers a wide range of timber products, listed in the Annex in accordance with the nomenclature of the Community Customs Code.

Obligations for operators

This Regulation establishes three principal obligations:

  • Timber and timber products placed on the market must come from legal harvesting;
  • Operators placing timber and timber products on the market must use a system of ‘due diligence’. The system of due diligence is a risk management system which aims to minimise the risk of illegal timber being present in the supply chain. Operators must be able to provide specific information on the timber and timber products placed on the market and to conduct a risk analysis;
  • Operators must keep information on their suppliers and on the traders they have supplied with timber for at least five years. This ensures traceability.

Due diligence systems

This Regulation offers operators the option of using the due diligence systems put in place by the monitoring organisations. These are organisations with the necessary expertise and analysis capacity to help their members comply with the rules. These organisations must meet legal and technical conditions in order to be recognised by the European Commission.

Status of timber and timber products

The Union negotiates and concludes voluntary partnership agreements (“FLEGT”) with certain countries in order to ensure that the timber imported from these countries is from a legal origin. The timber exported under these agreements is covered by an authorisation system introduced by Regulation (EC) No 2173/2005.

In accordance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, Regulation (EC) No 338/97 specifies the conditions for the issue of permits for certain types of timber. Timber which has such a permit is also considered by this Regulation to have been legally harvested.

Application

The date of application for this Regulation is set for 3 March 2013. European operators, timber producers and Member States (including commercial partners) should therefore have the necessary time to prepare themselves. In the meantime, the Commission may adopt more detailed rules.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Regulation (EU) No 995/2010

2.12.2010

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OJ L 295, 12.11.2010

Last updated: 05.04.2011
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