National EUTR penalties: are they sufficiently effective, proportionate and dissuasive?
The EU timber regulation (EUTR), the EU’s illegal logging law, has been in place for five years. This law aims to prevent illegal timber from entering the EU market and requires companies to check the risk of illegal timber products in their supply chains. If they don’t, competent authorities in EU countries need to apply penalties which are “effective, proportionate and dissuasive”, according to the law.
A new ClientEarth analysis has taken a closer look at what this means and whether authorities apply this standard. The result of the analysis is that, generally, current EUTR enforcement practice is not fit for the EU standard, authorities preferring softer approaches over ‘hard enforcement’ – or warnings instead of fines. The analysis, based on the limited public information available, concludes that authorities need to increase the transparency around EUTR enforcement action and significantly step up enforcement for the EUTR to work.