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The EU Timber Regulation briefly explained

The EU Timber Regulation, coming into force on 3 March 2013, prohibits placing of illegal timber products on the EU market. The Regulation constitutes one of the EU's most significant efforts to halt the influx of illegal timber into the EU market. 

The EU is believed to be the end destination of approximately 20 % of the world's total illegal timber trade, a criminal activity often committed by organised gangsters and the source of untold tragedy for wildlife and humankind.

To whom does the Regulation apply?

The Timber Regulation requires all organisations trading in a broad range of timber products on the EU market to keep track of their suppliers and buyers.

More comprehensive requirements for due diligence apply only to the so-called "first placers" (or "operators" in the terminology of the Regulation). 

If you import timber products into the EU from a non-EU country, and place these products on the EU market (perhaps after processing them), then you are a "first placer" -  provided that the specific products you trade are covered by the Regulation. While the Regulation covers a very broad range of products containing timber or wood fibre, several specific products are exempt.

You are also a 'first placer' if you place timber from forests located within the EU on the EU market.

Which special requirements apply to "first placers"?

The EU requires "first placers" to have a Due Diligence System in place covering the following key requirements:
  • Access to information about the origin of the products;
  • Supply chain evaluation: evaluation of the risk of illegal timber entering into their supply chains;
  • Measures to mitigate any identified, non-negligible risk;
  • Regular monitoring of the Due Diligence System.
Our LegalSource Programme comprises a fully developed Due Diligence System, capacity building helping you implement the system properly, and regular monitoring using a robust certification framework and providing you with access to using the LegalSource claim.

Learn more about the LegalSource Programme and how it may help you comply with the EU Timber Regulation.