Many still ‘stumped’ by EU timber regulation

Introduced in 2013, the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) prohibits the placing of illegally harvested timber and products on the EU market. It establishes legal obligations for the entire furniture supply chain, but over two years later many businesses still need further clarification to understand how the Regulation directly relates to them.

To help the industry fully understand and comply with the Regulation, further dates have been set for FIRA’s popular EUTR Awareness Course.

EUTR established obligations for ‘operators’, businesses responsible for first placing timber and timber products onto the European market, to exercise due diligence in order to manage and mitigate the risk of illegal products entering their supply chain. In addition, the EUTR requires companies purchasing timber and timber products on the European market, known as ‘traders’, to maintain records to enable supply chain traceability.

The one-day course, run by FIRA International, aims to assist the industry in understanding and meeting their legal obligations when importing, selling and trading timber and timber products in the European Union.

New course dates have been set for 17th September, 15th October, 26th November and 17th December.

Dr. Asli Tamer Vestlund, Research and Consultancy Manager for FIRA, said:

“This course is still proving to be really popular and we continue to receive excellent feedback from delegates. It aims to provide full support to help businesses avoid the penalties that could be imposed if they are found to be non-compliant. Due to the complexity of the Regulation, we are also offering ongoing support to delegates through our EU Timber Regulation Mailing list, which provides key updates as they occur.”

FIRA’s one-day EU Timber Regulation Awareness course is specifically designed for importers, compliance managers, quality managers and procurement staff and covers issues such as:

  • Who is affected by the regulations and their obligations.
  • How to develop and implement a due diligence system to mitigate the risk of illegal timber.
  • Good practices for responsible timber trading, including communicating due diligence to interested parties.

The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) was initiated due to increasing concerns over unsustainable forest management practices and illegal logging. Recent figures reported by non-governmental organisations such as the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) have exposed that illegal logging accounts for an estimated 50-90 percent of all forestry activities in key producer tropical forests regions such as the Amazon Basin, Central Africa and Southeast Asia, and around 15-30 percent of all wood traded globally.

Currently, a variety of timber products including sawn and machined wood, composite boards such as fibreboard, particleboard and plywood and veneering sheets together with non-upholstered office, kitchen and bedroom furniture are included in the scope of EUTR.