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Who is affected?

The Regulation divides those who deal in timber and timber products into two categories: operators and traders. Operators – those who first place timber products on the EU market – carry the bulk of the responsibility, while traders – those who buy or sell timber or timber products already on the market – are required only to keep track of who they buy from and sell to.

Check your responsibilities:

Operators

You are the first to place timber or timber products on the EU market.

Your responsibility

You are required to exercise ‘due diligence’ when placing wood on the EU market. It is down to you to minimise the chances of the wood coming from, or being made of wood which comes from, illegally harvested sources. This means that you must implement a risk management system called a due diligence system, based on:

Information: The operator must have access to information describing the timber and timber products, country (and, where applicable, sub-national region and concession) of harvest, species, quantity, details of the supplier and information on compliance with national legislation.

Risk assessment: The operator should assess the risk of illegal timber in their supply chain, based on the information identified above and taking into account risk criteria set out in the EUTR.

Risk mitigation: If the assessment shows the risk of illegal timber in the supply chain is not negligible, that risk can be mitigated by taking additional measures, for example requiring additional information and verification from the supplier.

For more on due diligence see ‘How is it applied?’

Traders

You buy or sell – for commercial purposes – timber or timber products already placed on the EU market.

Your responsibility

You are required to keep information about your suppliers and customers so that the wood you handle can be traced as easily as possible.

You should retain this information for a period of five years.  

This information is only needed for the period up to the last point of sale between businesses. No information is needed on sales to end consumers.

How can operators exercise due diligence?

Operators can develop their own due diligence systems – a set of measures and procedures that effectively minimise risk – or use one developed by a monitoring organisation. Monitoring organisations near you.

For more on due diligence see ‘How is it applied?’ or consult the detailed Guidance Documentpdf(100 KB) .

Still not sure if you are an operator or a trader?

Here are some scenarios to guide you:

Scenario 1

Manufacturer C buys paper in a third country outside the EU and imports it into the EU (any country), where he/she uses the paper to make exercise books. He/she then sells the exercise books to retailer D in any EU Member State. Exercise books are a product covered by the Annex to the EU Timber Regulation:

  • Manufacturer C becomes an operator when he/she imports the paper for use in his/her own business.

Scenario 2

Company X harvests timber from its own land within the EU and then transports and processes it in its own sawmill and sells sawn softwood to company Y:

  • Company X becomes an operator when it harvests its own timber for distribution through its own business.

Scenario 3

An EU based manufacturer C imports coated craft paper directly from a third country producer and uses it to pack products that are subsequently sold on the EU market:

  • Manufacturer C becomes an operator when he/she imports the craft paper into the EU for use in business. (Take note that in this case it is of no regard that the craft paper is only used as packaging as it is imported as a product in its own right)

More scenarios are available in the Guidance Documentpdf(100 KB)