Given the major scale and urgency of the problem of deforestation, it was necessary to complement and reinforce the EU FLEGT Action Plan with additional measures and for that reason in October 2008 the European Commission presented a legislative proposal aimed at minimising the risk of illegally harvested timber entering the EU.
The Regulation (EU) N0 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 prohibits the placing of illegally harvested timber and products of such timber on the EU market. It requires the EU economic operators that supply timber and timber products to the EU market for the first time to exercise “due diligence” to ensure the legality of the products. It also obliges all EU timber traders to keep records of who their suppliers and customers are to allow for traceability of their products. The Regulation applies to both imported and domestically harvested timber.
The Regulation provides for making use of a due diligence system which should contain the following 3 elements:
– measures and procedures providing access to information concerning the operator’s supply of timber;
– risk assessment procedures;
– risk mitigation procedures.
DG Environment of the European Commission has contracted EFI to carry out a study which provides information of the status quo of these systems in Europe. The contract was awarded to EFI who undertakes the assignment with two associate members, University of Padova and INDUFOR.
The 4 month study aims to identify the most efficient ways to fulfill the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation with respect to risk assessment and risk management procedures and the procedures for recognition of monitoring organizations, taking into account in particular relevant best practices.