This second report on the EUTR implementation, covering the period March 2015 to February 2017 and based on the reports from the 28 EU Member States and Norway, reveals steady progress after four years of its application. Almost all countries comply with the formal requirements of the EUTR. Over the reporting period, the number of checks made and sanctions applied for violations of the EUTR has significantly increased. Despite clear progress, continuous efforts are needed to ensure a uniform and effective application of the EUTR across countries. Uneven implementation can have potential implications in terms of both the effectiveness of legislation and a level playing field for market operators. Further effort should be made to ensure that the scope and quality of the checks carried out reflect a more consistent approach across the EU. The Commission will continue its cooperation with the Member States on supplementing EUTR guidance to achieve a uniform application and facilitate its implementation by the operators. The Commission will also help approximate enforcement approaches between competent authorities and continue to explore additional tools to improve the EUTR implementation in cooperation with the Member States and relevant stakeholders.
On 18 February 2016 the Commission released a report on the effectiveness of the EU Timber Regulation during its first two years of implementation. The report finds that the EU is on track to achieve its objectives to combat illegal logging and associated trade in illegal timber, but challenges remain. Some positive trends are visible, namely that EU operators are gradually taking steps to ensure the legality of their suppliers and that there is more awareness of the problem of illegal logging amongst EU consumers. The Regulation has also encouraged producer countries to develop systems assessing compliance with the requirements of the legislation. However, more effort is needed from both the Member States and the private sector to ensure its effective and efficient application. Since 2014 there has been significant progress in the implementation of timber regulation across the EU. While in July 2014 there were 18 non-compliant Member States, in June 2015 the number was reduced to 4 (Greece, Hungary, Romania and Spain). The Commission launched infringement procedures against these Member States in 2015. It was also widely recognised that the Regulation adds significant value to the international efforts to halt deforestation and forest degradation, conserve biodiversity and address climate change. The results of evaluation will be used to further improve the implementation and application of the Timber Regulation.
The contributions to the public consultation on the evaluation of the EU Timber Regulation two years after its entry into application are available. See also the statistics of the replies. The Member States' reports are available too. These reports cover only the period March 2013 - March 2015 while the progress recorded after March 2015 is not included. The external contractor's report accompanied by the Commission Quality Assessment Form is also published.