Canada Wood UK has developed a concise brief on the pending European Timber Regulation (EUTR) for ‘operators’ – companies first placing timber or wood products onto the EU market. Covering products as diverse as fuel wood, sawn wood, packing cases, pulp and paper and many more*, the EUTR will impact on all wood-reliant sectors.
The European Timber Regulation (EUTR) comes into effect from 3rd March 2013:
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 (identified as ‘operators’) to exercise ‘due diligence’.
The basis of the Canada Wood brief is the fact that forests in all Canada’s Provinces are ‘legally harvested’(EUTR Article 2(f)); Canadian timber and wood-based products comprised of only wood harvested in Canada constitute ‘negligible risk’ under the operator’s due diligence obligations (EUTR Article 6(c)).
The Canada Wood EUTR brief effectively provides the majority of the information an operator needs in order to demonstrate due diligence. Guidance is also provided for ‘blended-source’ products where wood may have been obtained both from the USA and off-shore.
John Park, manager of Canada Wood UK says, “We have encountered a great deal of confusion and concern amongst EU operators; our guidance, for when they are importing timber and wood products from Canada, should alleviate their concerns and make their lives a whole lot simpler”.
The EUTR is system-based but not prescriptive; it is the operator, not the product, who will be EUTR compliant being responsible for both their due diligence system (DDS) and their compliance with it.
Enforcement of the EUTR will be undertaken by the ‘competent authority’¶ in each Member State; in the UK it is the National Measurement Office (NMO)§.
Theoretically, timber and wood products should not be identified as being “EUTR Compliant” but then there is nothing within the EUTR to say that it is not permitted to do so!
And with his involvement with the development of the European Standard for plywood, Park also says, “The EUTR will be particularly helpful for plywood with the adoption on 1st July 2013 of the Construction Products Regulation†.”
For details of the Canada Wood EUTR brief, visit www.canadawooduk.org.
* The full list of products is provided in “Timber and timber products as classified in the Combined Nomenclature set out in Annex I to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87, to which the EUTR applies”. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31987R2658:en:NOT