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How is it applied?

Enforcing the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR)

The EUTR is binding in every EU country, but how is it enforced and by whom? Find out below and don’t forget to consult the Guidance Document pdf(100 KB) for more information.

The legislator in your country lays out ‘effective, proportionate and dissuasive’ penalties to ensure compliance.

Remember, the EUTR does not have retroactive effect, meaning that it only applies to wood and wood products placed on the market on and after 3 March 2013.

Find out about the penalties in your country by contacting your competent authority.

A competent authority in your country coordinates the application of the Regulation.

Competent authorities carry out checks on operators and monitoring organisations.

Find your competent authority here .

Monitoring organisations across the EU develop due diligence systems which, as an operator, you may use to ensure that you are complying with the EUTR. However, you may also opt to develop your own system.

How can your business implement the Regulation? More on ‘due diligence’

How should your business prepare to comply with the EUTR? Once you have established whether you are an operator or a trader, you take clear steps.

If you are a trader then you simply need to keep information on the business that you buy timber products from and those you sell to.

If you are an operator you have more responsibility. You must exercise due diligence to make sure timber in your products has been legally harvested.

You must use a due diligence system containing the following elements:

Information: You must have access to the following information on their timber:

  • description (including the trade name, type of product and common name/full scientific name of species);
  • country of harvest (and, if applicable, region of harvest, as well as the concession of harvest – i.e. any arrangement conferring the right to harvest timber in a defined area);
  • quantity (expressed in volume, weight or number of units);
  • name and address of the supplier to the operator;
  • name and address of the buyer (trader) who purchases the timber;
  • documents or other information indicating compliance of the timber and timber products with the applicable legislation. For some concrete examples of what counts as ‘documents or other information’, please see section 4 of the Guidance Document.

Risk assessment: You must analyse and evaluate the risk that the timber you are dealing in is illegally harvested. When making this assessment, investigate the wood you are dealing in using the following criteria:

  • assurance of compliance with applicable legislation, which may include certification or other third-party-verified schemes which cover compliance with applicable legislation;
  • prevalence of illegal harvesting of specific tree species;
  • prevalence of illegal harvesting or practices in the country of harvest and/or sub-national region where the timber was harvested, including consideration of the prevalence of armed conflict;
  • sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council or the Council of the European Union on timber imports or exports;
  • complexity of the supply chain of timber and timber products.

Please see the Guidance Document pdf(100 KB) for more detailed information.

Risk mitigation: If you are not satisfied that the risk of placing illegally harvested timber on the market is negligible, you must take action by implementing risk mitigation measures. These may include:

  • requiring additional information from your suppliers;
  • requiring additional documents from your suppliers;
  • requiring third party verification, etc.