The EUTR
Information on the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) / United Kingdom Timber Regulation (UKTR), impacts on due diligence and the TTF's RPP

THE EUROPEAN UNION TIMBER REGULATION

The European Union Timber Regulation, EUTR, is a trade mechanism imposed by the EU Parliament and Council to probit the trade of illegally harvest timber and timber products.

 

Stakeholders from EU member states including the UK TTF, government, industry, European Commission and members of civil society organisations were part of the EUTR formalisation.

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What is the EUTR?

The Timber Trade Federation requires members to adhere to our Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP), a risk management framework designed by the TTF, embedding the EUTR to hold our members to the highest standards.

 

The EUTR is the EU’s Action towards the FLEGT Action Plan. Entering force in 2013, it requires all companies who are placing timber and timber products on the EU markets for the first place to undergo and implement a due diligence system.

 

This aims to prohibit and reduce the demand for illegally harvested timber and logging by reducing trade options. Failure to not comply with the EUTR can see timber companies face a criminal charge.

 

Simply put, to comply with the EUTR all operators must implement a due diligence system to assess and mitigate risk.

Due diligence

The EUTR and TTF’s Responsible Purchasing Policy prohibits the sale or placing of illegally harvested timber or timber products on the EU market. Due diligence is a risk management exercise to minimise risk from your supply chain. 

 

A ‘due diligence system’ covers:

  • Information gathering: Information describing the timber or timber products and supply chain including; country of origin/ harvest, species, quantity, details of the supplier and information on compliance with national legislation
  • Risk assessment: Evaluating the risk of illegal timber in the supply chain, based on the information as above and regulations set out in the EUTR
  • Risk mitigation: If a risk of illegal timber in the supply chain is highlighted, risk mitigated by collecting further information, documentation and verification from the supplier
  • Regular evaluations: Of the due diligence system, performance, and audits

 

The TTF’s responsible purchasing policy, developed by TTF for our members, is a risk management framework ensuring that our members are conducting due diligence in line with the EUTR and are only purchasing and selling legally produced timber.

 

FLEGT-licensed Timber (currently only Indonesia) is considered legal under the EUTR and does not need to undergo further due diligence. All third-party certification (for example FSC or PEFC) or legally verification systems, can be deemed as mitigation measures of the due diligence process.

1. Determine what products are covered under the EUTR and yourself with the EUTR

2. Determine whether you are an ‘operator’ or ‘trader’

Operator: The first placer of timber or timber products on the EU market 

Trader: Buy or sell timber or timber products already on the EU market

BELOW ONLY APPLIES TO OPERATORS

3. Set up a due diligence system

4.  Collect information about your timber, timber products and supply chain

5. Conduct risk assessments

6. Mitigate risks identified

7. Set up a system for performance evaluation and audits

FLEGT License

The TTF are working to promote the use and sale of FLEGT-licensed timber to our members, architects, designers, specifiers and wider European stakeholders as a means to not have to conduct further due diligence, while supporting legal timber production practices.

 

The FLEGT license shows that a country manages its forest in line with forest management, has put in place a timber legality assurance system (TLAS) and is proof that the timber is legally harvested.

 

Timber from a FLEGT-licensed country is considered to have undergone due diligence due to the harvesting countries TLAS. Therefore buying FLEGT-licensed timber means that you do not need to undergo further due diligence as authorities of the EUTR consider this proof of legality and give it a ‘green lane‘!

The Timber Trade Federation’s Responsible Purchasing Policy

The Timber Trade Federation’s Responsible Purchasing Policy is a risk management framework, developed for our members in line with the requirements of the EU/ UK Timber Regulations. This is a mandatory requirement of membership to assess due diligence, subject to an independent third-party audit.

 

Our members account for around 85% of the £10 billion UK timber industry.

 

Empowering our members to lead the standard of #trustedtimber means that if you buy from a TTF member, you are buying Timber You Can Trust. Look out for the TTF’s RPP logo to see whether a company is a member of the TTF and adheres to our risk management framework.

Important information

If you or your business in any aspects deals with timber you should be aware of the EUTR and implement steps accordingly.

 

There are five key things to know:

1. The EUTR bans illegal timber in the EU and requires those companies that place timber or timber products on the EU market for the first time to undergo due diligence. It must happen before the product is purchased. It has to be undertaken even if the product is certified. 

 

2. The EUTR states that you must keep a record of the supplier, timber species, origin, quantities, risk assessment conducted and evidence collected.

 

3. You must assess and only use credible information.

 

4. If you are buying a product already on the EU market, and, on which due diligence has taken place, you need to keep records on whom you brought the product from and to whom you sold it. This helps the enforcement authority to trace illegal products along the supply chain and take them off the market if necessary.

 

5. The TTF have developed a business toolkit that enables companies to comply with the legislation, called the Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP)