© FSC A.C.In October 2010, the European Union adopted the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR, Regulation 995/2010) to prevent sales of illegal timber and timber products on the EU internal market.
From 3 March 2013, any operator who places timber or timber products on the EU market for the first time must ensure that they have been legally produced.
The EUTR is relevant to thousands of companies, small and large, that are producing timber domestically, or importing timber or timber products into the EU.
It covers a wide range of timber products, including plywood, veneer, particle board and furniture, but exempts some products, in particular printed media and seats.
The timber regulation includes three key obligations:
- It prohibits the placing of illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber on the EU market, whether they are of domestic or imported origin.
- Timber accompanied by a FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) or CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) license will be accepted as legal. In all other cases, operators must exercise “due diligence” when they introduce imported and domestic timber or timber products on the EU market.
- Traders (those after the operators in the supply chain) need to keep records of their suppliers (and customers, unless they are end consumers). In this way the operators can always be traced.
FSC supports without reservation the goal of banning illegally harvested timber from the EU market. It has worked to ensure that our systems fulfill the requirements of the regulation so that FSC certificate holders can work with each other to collect the required information for the due diligence and use the FSC certificate as a key element of their risk assessment and risk mitigation.
Besides advice notes to assist certificate holders to comply with the EUTR (see the Ensuring Compliance” page), FSC has also produced:
- A questions and answers document, clarifying how FSC relates to the requirements of the EUTR (see below).
- An implementation guide written for certificate holders who are “operators” in terms of the EUTR, going into detail on why FSC can be regarded as a scheme fit for use as part of a due diligence scheme (see side panel).
Both documents have been translated into several languages. Also available via this page.