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Stakeholder Updates

Role of Certification in EU Timber Regulation Enforcement

Tuesday, 23 February 2016


Last week, the European Commission published a report on the effectiveness of the EU Timber Regulation during its first two years of implementation.

The report confirms that there is limited enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation across the EU, and acknowledges the need for a more harmonised approach.

“The report shows that enforcement of the EUTR needs significantly more engagement from Member States. FSC supports the call for a uniform application of the EUTR throughout the EU, and for clearer recognition of the role of certification schemes, such as FSC, as risk assessment and risk mitigation tools against illegal logging,” commented John Hontelez, Chief Advocacy Officer, FSC International.

The report acknowledges that it is difficult to conclude whether the EU Timber Regulation has already been effective in fighting illegal logging inside and outside the EU, and that in reality too little has happened. Four countries have not started to enforce the EUTR at all, and others have too small enforcement teams.

“FSC is satisfied that the Commission has taken up the request from FSC, and many of its stakeholders, for a clear assessment of certification claims as evidence of legality. There is a wide variation of approaches among Member States, with many enforcement teams too under resourced to deal with the realities of the issue. FSC is keen to work with the Commission and Member States to clarify how FSC certification can help to increase the impact of the EUTR in the fight against illegal logging globally,” noted Mr. Hontelez.

The EU Commission evaluation and supporting documents can be found here.
The FSC contribution to the evaluation can be found here.

John Hontelez: j.hontelez@fsc.org