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Timber Regulation

Obligations and scope

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 (Illegal) Timber Regulation counters the trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products through three key obligations:

  1. It prohibits the placing on the EU market for the first time of illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber;
  2. It requires EU traders who place timber products on the EU market for the first time to exercise 'due diligence';

Once on the market, the timber and timber products may be sold on 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

  1. Keep records of their suppliers and customers.

The Regulation covers a wide range of timber products listed in its Annex using EU Customs code nomenclature.

The application of the Regulation will start from 3rd March 2013 to allow sufficient time for EU operators, timber producers and Member States, as well as trading partners, to prepare, During this period the Commission will adopt more detailed rules.

List of Member States` Competent Authorities responsible for implementing the Timber Regulation

Recognized Monitoring Organisations: NEPCon, Conlegno, Control Union  and Bureau Veritas

What is "due diligence"?

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:

  • Information: The operator must have access to information describing the timber and timber products, country 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 his supply chain, based on the information identified above and taking into account criteria set out in the regulation.
  • Risk mitigation: When the assessment shows that there is a risk of illegal timber in the supply chain that risk can be mitigated by requiring additional information and verification from the supplier.

The European Commission will adopt more detailed rules on the "due diligence system" by 3rd June 2012.

Which products does the Regulation cover?

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. 

Timber and timber products covered by valid FLEGT or CITES licenses are considered to comply with the requirements of the Regulation.


The Regulation is legally binding on all 27 EU Member States, which are responsible for laying down effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties and for enforcing the Regulation. 

The Regulation provides for "Monitoring organisations" to be recognised by the European Commission.  These organisations which will be private entities, will provide EU operators with operational due diligence systems.  Operators can thus develop their own system or use one developed by a monitoring organisation.

Information for applicants for Monitoring Organisations

Applicants for Monitoring Organisations must send their applications via e-mail to the following e-mail addresses:;

A hard copy may be sent to the following address:

European Commission; Directorate-General for the Environment
Avenue de Beaulieu 5, 1160 Auderghem, Brussel, Belgique

The Commission charges no fees for recognition of Monitoring Organisations.

Applicants may send applications in all 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 intend to provide services. A table with basic minimum description of a due diligence system may be found here.

Secondary legislation

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.


During the consultation process for elaborating the secondary legislation and after holding numerous bilateral meetings with stakeholders the Commission outlined a number of issues, which need to be addressed in guidelines. A list of issues can be seen here.  

Stakeholder consultations in developing the secondary legislation

Two stakeholder meetings were held on 21st March and on 28th April 2011 to discuss different options and best practices for the recognition of "monitoring organisations" entrusted with certain responsibilities in the framework of EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) legislation as well as to exchange views on best options for risk assessment and risk mitigation procedures. Stakeholders` opinions were reflected in the final report of the Commission funded study for developing of the non-legislative acts provided for in the EUTR (published below).

A stakeholders` conference took place on 9th November in Brussels where a Draft Guidance document on certain aspect of the EU Timber Regulation was presented and discussed. The conference was webstreamed and could be watched live on the following link.


Preparatory legislative process


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