Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market – also known as the EU Timber Regulation or EUTR counters the trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products through three key obligations:
Once on the market, the timber and timber products may be sold and/or transformed before they reach the final consumer. To facilitate the traceability of timber products, economic operators in this part of the supply chain (referred to as traders in the regulation) have an obligation to
The Regulation covers a wide range of timber products listed in its Annex, using EU Customs code nomenclature.
The Regulation entered into application on 3 March 2013.
The core of the 'due diligence' notion is that operators undertake a risk management exercise so as to minimise the risk of placing illegally harvested timber, or timber products containing illegally harvested timber, on the EU market.
The three key elements of the "due diligence system" are:
The Regulation covers a broad range of timber products including solid wood products, flooring, plywood, pulp and paper. Not included are recycled products, as well as printed papers such as books, magazines and newspapers. The product scope can be amended if necessary.
The Regulation applies to both imported and domestically produced timber and timber products.
The Regulation is legally binding on all 28 EU Member States, which are responsible for laying down effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties and for enforcing the Regulation.
To ensure cooperation between Member States Competent Authorities and with the European Commission, in order to ensure compliance with the EU Timber Regulation (in the spirit of Article 12 of the EUTR), and to assist the Commission in ensuring uniform implementation of the EUTR and FLEGT Regulation across the European Union, the Commission has set up an Expert Group on the EU Timber Regulation and the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Regulation. The Expert Group meets four to five times per year. Regarding the EUTR, it is tasked to exchange information, between the Competent Authorities and with the Commission, on shortcomings detected through the checks referred to in Articles 8(4) and 10(1) of the EUTR and on the types of penalties imposed in accordance with Article 19 of the EUTR, identifying best practices and sharing lessons learnt. A summary record of the meetings is published in the Register of Commission Expert Groups.
Briefing notes on developments relevant to the implementation and enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation have been compiled by UNEP-WCMC as a consultant of the European Commission in close cooperation with the Member States Competent Authorities. So far there are notes covering the following periods:
An overview of the EUTR compliance checks performed and penalties imposed by EU Member States’ and EEA Competent Authorities to enforce the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation is planned to be produced biennially. These reports are based on the data provided by the Competent Authorities on a voluntary basis in a format agreed with them and compiled by UNEP-WCMC as a consultant of the European Commission. So far the overviews cover the following periods:
The Regulation provides for "Monitoring organisations" to be recognised by the European Commission. These organisations which are private entities, provide EU operators with operational due diligence systems. Operators can thus develop their own system or use one developed by a monitoring organisation.
To become a Monitoring Organisation, candidates must send their application to the following e-mail address: ENV-TIMBER-REG@ec.europa.eu
The Commission charges no fees for recognition of Monitoring Organisations.
Candidates may send applications in any of the EU official languages; however a copy translated into English will facilitate and speed up the assessment process. Applicants must clearly state in a cover letter in which EU Member States they intend to provide services. A table with basic minimum description of a due diligence system may be found here, while the assessment tables can be found here.
The Commission adopted Commission delegated Regulation of 23.2.2012 on the procedural rules for the recognition and withdrawal of recognition of monitoring organisations as provided for in Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market.
The Commission adopted an implementing regulation on the risk assessment and risk mitigation measures which are part of the "due diligence system" as well as on the frequency and nature of checks which Member States` competent authorities will conduct on the monitoring organizations to ensure they comply with the requirements of the Regulation. The purpose of this regulation is to ensure the uniform implementation of the EU Timber Regulation.
EU Timber Regulation Review 2015: First two years show progress, but more effort needed from Member States and private sector
Following its entry into application on 3 March 2013, the Commission completed in 2015 a review of the effectiveness of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) during its first two years of implementation on the basis of Member States' reports and inputs received through a public consultation and direct contacts with a broad range of stakeholders, including private sector and civil society. The results of the consultation are publicly available.
The updated version of the Guidance Document for the EU Timber Regulation was adopted on 12 February 2016. It is published in the 23 languages of the EU and replaces the Guidance document of 2013.