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Summary of ​FLEGT Information Session for the Timber Industry

The meeting, which took place at DEFRA offices in London on 26th February 2016, was attended by over 30 delegates representing various trade associations, retailers, manufacturers, timber merchants, DEFRA, EUTR enforcement agency National Monitoring and Regulations Office (NMRO).

Summary

Since its implementation in March 2013, the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) has aimed to prohibit placing illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber on the EU market. EUTR lays down obligations for businesses who place timber and timber products on the internal market for the first time (known as ‘operators’), as well as obligations on businesses who sell or buy timber and timber products already placed on the internal market (known as ‘traders’). 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.

Closely related to EUTR, the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Regulation establishes rules for the import of timber products covered by Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) between the EU and timber-exporting countries. Once VPAs are fully implemented, timber-exporting countries will issue FLEGT licences which verify the timber’s legality. This would mean that for an operator, if they import timber and timber products that have a valid FLEGT licence, they wouldn’t have to carry out additional due diligence because these products would be regarded as being legally harvested under the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

Indonesia is likely to be the first country to ship FLEGT-licenced timber and timber products to the EU. Licensing is expected to commence in 2016. Details of the current timber and timber products covered by the Indonesian VPA, and therefore likely to be covered by a FLEGT licence, can be found on pages 2-7 of the VPA document.

If you import FLEGT-licensed timber, you will be required to obtain the FLEGT licence and input the licence details into a dedicated UK FLEGT website before the timber arrives in the UK. When inputting the licence details, you will also be required to pay a fee of £31 per licence via a secure platform on the UK FLEGT website. This fee covers the costs of the UK agencies involved in validating and processing FLEGT licences in the UK.

FIRA Members can download the full meeting report here.

FIRA’s experts have been assisting the industry to meet their legal requirements under EUTR for the last 3 years and have extensive knowledge and experience in working with companies from various sectors.

We run training courses, complete gap analysis of businesses and can help companies set up EUTR due diligence systems and assist them in fulfilling their risk assessment obligations.

Our next EUTR training session will be held on the 21st April 2016. To find our more or book your place, please click here.

If you need assistance in understanding these requirements or to discuss how FIRA can help your company, please call 01438 777 700, or email info@fira.co.uk