Letter to European Commission on EU timber regulation

News | 20 Jul.2018

Letter to European Commission on EU timber regulation


European forest-based industries call on the extension of the scope of the EU Timber Regulation to ensure that wood-based products sold on the European market are safe from illegal logging regardless of their origin.

Sent to:

Ms. Elżbieta Bieńkowska
European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Mr. Karmenu Vella
European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Ms. Cecilia Malmström
European Commissioner for Trade

Dear Commissioners,

The EU Timber Regulation (995/2010/EU) is one of the key measures of the European Union to combat illegal logging. It aims to prevent wood and wood-based products that derive from illegally logged forests to enter the European market.

Wood and a large part of wood-based products are already covered by the Regulation. The European forest-based industries, as operators or traders under the Regulation, have already put in place the required due diligence systems for the wood or wood-based products that they are placing on the European market.

Regrettably, several wood-based products are not yet in the scope of the Regulation. Millions of euros worth of wood-based products are therefore still entering the European market without any assurance on their legality.

This not only creates a significant environmental loophole in the Regulation but it also distorts competition between wood-based products produced in the European Union with compliant raw material and wood-based products produced outside the European Union which can be freely imported and placed on the European market regardless of the origin of the raw material.

The EU Timber Regulation helps to secure legal sourcing of products sold on the European market. Illegal logging blemishes the reputation of the forest-based industries and the image of wood-based products. It is not acceptable that the reputation of European companies is tarnished because of illegally sourced imported products put on the European market. Moreover, it is important that European consumers can trust that any wood-based products found on the European market have been sourced legally.

The European Union should ensure that wood-based products on the European market are safe from illegal logging regardless of their origin. We therefore call on the European Commission to revise without further delay the scope of the EU Timber Regulation and extend it to wood-based products, such as printed matter, which are so far not covered.
Additionally, we invite the European Commission to include under the scope of the EUTR regulation tree like products, such as bamboo, whose illegal sourcing and extraction is causing deforestation and environmental degradation.
Furthermore, the European Commission should coordinate more consistent enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation.
We thank you for your consideration and remain at your disposal for further discussions on this matter with you or your respective services.
 

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