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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

EU deal signals ban on illegal timber

After years of debate, EU legislators yesterday (16 June) reached a deal to ban illegal timber from entering the common market as of 2012. The compromise between the European Parliament, the Spanish EU Presidency and the Commission européenne is a step towards ensuring that illegally harvested timber and wood products cannot be sold on the EU market. It is estimated that 20-40% of global industrial wood production comes from illegal sources, with up to 20% ending up on the EU market. The agreement covers raw timber and wood products like furniture and floorboards. But it exempts printed materials such as books and newspapers for at least five years. Companies will be required to use a due diligence system and carry out risk assessments where illegal activities are suspected. Furthermore, they will have to trace back the timber they use to the country and place where it was harvested.

Source: Euractiv