EUTR
DETAILS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION TIMBER REGULATION (EUTR) AND ITS IMPACT ON DUE DILIGENCE

The EUTR came into force in March 2013 and prohibits the placing of illegally harvested timber on the EU market. Crucially, the EUTR requires companies placing timber or timber products on the EU market (both imported and domestic) to implement a due diligence system for the first time. Failure to do so can see timber companies facing a criminal charge.

How does the EUTR affect me?

Five key things you need to know and how the TTF can help.

 

1. The EUTR bans illegal timber in the EU and requires those companies that place wood or wood products on the EU market for the first time to assess the risk of whether those products may be illegal and where risks are identified, to mitigate any identified risks. This is known as due diligence and like all due diligence, it must happen before you buy the product. Importantly, it has to be undertaken even if the product is certified.



2. The law states that you must keep a record of the supplier, the product’s timber species, where it comes from, and the amount bought. You must also record your risk assessment on the product, based on the evidence you have collected.



3. You must use credible information about the country of origin, the supplier, the product and any other sources of information in determining the level of risk. You should not place an order for a product until you have been through this process and taken any necessary measures to minimise the risk of the product being illegal. You should also record what action you are taking to reduce your risk going forward.

 


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



5. The TTF have developed a business toolkit that enables companies to comply with this legislation. It is called the Responsible Purchasing Process (RPP). The TTF provides this due diligence toolkit free to all members.


Please remember that for anything relating to the EUTR, due diligence or legal compliance we require it to be independently assessed to ensure it is in line with our Environmental Code of Practise.

Further information, resources and useful perspectives on the EUTR

The official European Commission EUTR webpage can be found here. On this page you will find key information about the regulation including a copy of the Official EC Guidance on the EUTR and informationon the approvals for monitoring organisations.

 

The legal framework for the EUTR in the UK is The Timber and Timber Products (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2013. Official Guidance on the EUTR, published by the UK government, can be found here.

 

The TTF have delivered a number of EUTR and due diligence workshops over the past few years. Notes and presentations of these workshops can be accessed here.

 

The BSI and WWF GFTN published PAS 2021, “Exercising due diligence in establishing the legal origin of timber and timber products – Guide to Regulation (EU) No 995/2010” , as a public guidance document for the responsible sourcing of timber. This guidance was developed through a multi-stakeholder process in which the TTF was involved.

 

The Forestry Commission has specific guidance for those harvesting and placing timber from the UK on the EU market – click here.

 

ClientEarth is an NGO that focuses on improving the framework and delivery of environmental law. They have been very active on the EUTR over the past few years. Their work on the EUTR focuses on ensuring that EUTR is enforced effectively across the EU. ClientEarth’s EUTR webpage provides an NGO’s perspectives of the legal framework of the EUTR as well as its implementation. One of the most useful bits of information is their perspectives on how the EUTR is being forced across the EU.

 

During 2015 the European Commission undertook a review of the EUTR.  The TTF have been strongly involved in different aspects of the review, both formally and informally.  The TTF also produced an official EC Survey Consultation Guidance Document for all TTF Members.

USEFUL LINKS

Further Information