The EU Timber Regulation applies to timber and timber products being placed on the EU market for the first time.
Main requirements for EU operators:
- Prohibiting illegally harvested timber: The EU Timber Regulation prohibits operators in Europe from placing illegally harvested timber and products derived from illegal timber on the EU market. Legal timber is defined as timber that is in compliance with the laws of the country where it is harvested.
- Exercising due diligence: The regulation requires operators who are placing timber on the EU market for the first time (whether imported or harvested within the EU) to exercise ‘due diligence’. This means they must have access to information on the source of the timber (including tree species, origin of the wood and compliance with national laws and regulations) and take steps to assess and minimise the risk of placing illegal timber on EU markets.
- Keeping records: After timber has been placed on the market for the first time, ‘traders’ (those who buy and sell timber or timber products already on the market) have to keep records of whom they bought timber from and to whom they sold the timber.
- Providing assistance: Operators can create their own due diligence system or use one developed by a monitoring organisation. This is a company or organisation which is authorised by the European Commission to provide guidance to operators.