BVRio issues Practical Guide to conducting Due Diligence of Tropical Timber Products
The Brazilian NGO BVRio has recently published a practical guide – free to download – to facilitate conducting Due Diligence of tropical timber products. The objective of the guide is to summarise the main documents that need to be collected, and how to interpret them, in order to conduct due diligence of timber consignments to be imported from different countries into the US and European markets.
The guide complements BVRio Due Diligence and Risk Assessment system, an online system to assist timber traders in conducting the due diligence of individual timber consignments.
“The illegal production and trade of tropical timber is one of the main drivers of environmental degradation worldwide, leading to loss of habitats and biodiversity, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, human rights abuses and corruption,” highlights the NGO.
“The enforcement of legality by some countries (e.g. the EU Timber Regulation – EU TR1, the US Lacey Act 2008 and Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Act) requires traders and operators to conduct their own due diligence on the timber they import into these markets. In parallel, initiatives such as the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) have helped to increase capacity to implement these laws.”
“The ability to conduct due diligence, however, is hindered by various barriers. This guide summarises the main documents that need to be collected, and how to interpret them, in order to conduct due diligence of timber consignments to be imported from different countries into the US and European markets. It also provides a summary of the main risks associated with timber legality that the due diligence must address, for different countries.”
The main objective of this practical guide and of BVRio Responsible Timber Exchange is to enable wood traders to screen out illegal timber from their supply base and, through demand-side pressure, help combat illegality in the sector.