EUTR 2013

The European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) has been effective since March 3, 2013 to prevent the use of illegal wood in the products sold within the European market, especially in EU member countries. Now, after the Brexit, the UK is likely to make its own regulations regarding the distribution of illegal timber. Let us recall what are the problems caused by illegal logging activities for humans.

There are 3 main things, the first one is the economic problem. Illegal logging causes most of the parties to lose their economic income and the legitimacy of those who carry out illegal logging activities is doubted. The second is the environmental problem, where illegal logging activities result in a reduction in the area of forest land that functions very vitally to the changes of weather and the living creatures in it.

And the third is the social problem, its relationship with the lives of local communities around the forest and the potential for conflict with certain parties. That is why the European Union seeks to stop illegal logging activities in the country of origin of the timber.

Who get the direct impact of this new regulation? The target of this regulation is companies that intend to sell wood products to EU countries, means only companies with retail networks in Europe are directly affected. However, these companies will systematically give the same requirements to the exporter and it also means that furniture factories are required to have compliance with these regulations. Products included in this regulation are most of furniture products made of wood or other products made of wood (paper, kitchen utensils, decorations, etc.).
However, it does not include products that use recycled materials such as wooden pallets, bamboo and rattan. Paper with printed images or writings is also not included.

If you have a furniture factory, it is recommended to create an internal policy to purchase raw material with clear and clean traceability documents showing the logs are coming only from managed forests. It does not mean you have to buy certified wood from certified forests (FSC, PEFC, etc) but the document must show that the material are legally purchased. This is a part of the obligation to undertake DDS (Due Diligence System) for a factory as one of the 'operator' who place wood products into the market.

A DDS contains three elements:
1. Access to the information
Factory (operators) is adviced to have evidence of the information required but it is not obligatory; it suffices that they have access to it and are able to provide it upon request by the competent authorities (e.g. their supplier sends the necessary documents when so requested).
2. Risk Assessment
This step requires operators to evaluate, based on the information they have collected, if their products have been produced in compliance with the laws of the harvesting country. The following questions (risk assessment criteria) must also be replied:
3. Risk Mitigation
Factory to take risk mitigation measures to minimise that risk effectively. Measures may range from requiring additional information or documents from suppliers and/or third party verification to shifting to more reliable sources.


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