Timber Regulation now in force
The European Timber Regulation came into effect Sunday March 3rd and from now on it will be a criminal offence to place timber and timber products onto the European market that have been harvested illegally.
The penalties are severe including stock seizures, fines and imprisonment. To limit the risk, the EUTR requires those that place timber or timber products onto the European market (‘operators’) to have in place, and to implement, due diligence procedures. This requires information to be collected and necessary risk assessment and mitigation steps to be applied. Businesses that buy products (’traders’) that have been first placed on the market by another organisation are required to keep records of who supplied them with the product and which business bought it from them.
The government advises companies that deal in timber and timber products (even ‘traders’) to look at insurance as one option to cover them should the UK enforcing authority seize their products because they are suspected to be from an illegal source. This may not be as simple as the government portray.
The BFM has made a number of enquires through SAGAR Insurances (BFM’s preferred broker) and it seems that insurance is not easy to come by and in fact our sources suggest that the insurance industry has not prepared for the introduction of the EUTR. SAGAR Insurances however are in discussion with a number of companies to try and fill this gap for BFM members.
In terms of the EUTR, BFM members have been well briefed, have access to on-line guidance and advice and have the option of a visit from a EUTR consultant (at no cost) to help implement a due diligence system.
For more information on the EUTR please contact us.