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19 Feb.2016 ,

Exported jobs, illegal timber: EUTR implementation report fails to tackle loophole on printed products

The implementation report of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) published yesterday is a missed opportunity. It does not recommend the inclusion of printed products strongly enough in the regulation’s scope.

Marco Mensink, CEPI Director General: “Not including printed products in the scope is wrong. Products printed and produced in Europe comply with EU law to be proven legal. Products printed outside Europe do not have to comply at all. This is very odd, as the risks of illegal logging are much larger in the regions exempted. The EU promotes printing outside Europe and exports jobs. We fail to understand why”.

Beatrice Klose, INTERGRAF Secretary General: “Illegal logging damages the reputation of printed products and the European Union must ensure that all products on the European market are safe from illegal logging. The only way to do this is to include printed products in the scope of the European Timber Regulation.”

The annex of the EUTR contains a list of timber and timber products under the scope of the regulation, but does not contain products under chapter 49 of the Combined Nomenclature i.e. printed products. This is inconsistent and should have been addressed more clearly in the report. CEPI and INTERGRAF urge the Commission once again to amend the annex of the EUTR and include products under the chapter 49 of the Combined Nomenclature.

In 2014 the volume of trade in printed products imports into the EU amounted to €3 billion. This greatly impacts our European industry from a competitive perspective. The non-inclusion of printed products will lead to circumvention: There is a risk that illegally-logged wood is traded to countries with less stringent rules on legality, before being traded to the EU.

Furthermore the paper and printing industries see a need for consistent enforcement among Member States and clearer guidance. However, the Commission’s vague reference to a possible expansion of the product scope is disappointing.


For more information, please contact:
• Ulrich Leberle, CEPI Raw Material Director at u.leberle@cepi.org or
• Laetitia Reynaud, Intergraf Policy Advisor on Economic and Environmental Issues at lreynaud@intergraf.eu

Note to the Editor

CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 505 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 920 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production. More at www.cepi.org

INTERGRAF
Intergraf represents 22 national printing federations in 20 countries in Europe. Intergraf's main task is to promote and protect the interests of the printing and related industries, working with the European Institutions, and to enhance the sector's competitiveness through lobbying, informing and networking. More at www.intergraf.eu


 

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04 Dec.2015 ,

Four steps to improve the EU Timber Regulation

Contribution by CEPI to the review of the EU Timber Regulation (995/2010/EC)

Summary
In the ongoing review of the EU Timber Regulation, the European Commission should
• Include printed products in the scope of the regulation
• Strengthen the role of forest certification schemes in the risk assessment
• Coordinate consistent enforcement among Member States
• Align with other world regions with legislation on timber legality

Introduction
Illegal logging has negative effects on the populations depending on forests and the timber and timber products they sell to sustain their livelyhoods. Illegal logging is a driver of climate change and deforestation. Illegal logging also tarnishes the image of companies sourcing timber responsibly. Cheap imports of illegal timber and timber products distort competition at a global level. CEPI has welcomed proportionate measures against the illegal logging and trade of timber and welcomed the EU Timber Regulation introduced in 2010. CEPI believes similar legislation and responsible sourcing requirements should be applied to all raw materials, not only to wood and wood based products.


European paper Industry and timber legality
The European paper industry has a longstanding commitment to sourcing legal and sustainable timber. In 2005, CEPI introduced a Code of Conduct on Legal Logging, which included six principles to follow in wood purchasing to ensure only legal timber is procured. But to go beyond legality and to support sustainable forest management and demonstrate the responsible sourcing of raw materials from them, European Paper Industry has put in place instruments to secure wood is not only sourced from legal origin, but from sustainably managed sources. European Paper industry is strongly involved in third party verified certification. In 2012, 64,6% of wood chips and sawmilling by-products delivered to European mills were forest management certified. 74,7% of pulp delivered to paper and board mills in Europe were forest management certified.


CEPI recommendations for the review of the EU Timber Regulation
The EUTR is applicable since March 2013. In the ongoing review of the EUTR, the European Commission should make use of the experience gained to turn it more effective in combating illegal logging. The EU Timber Regulation should continue addressing timber legality and not be expanded to other forest related issues. However, CEPI has identified the following main issues to be tackled in the review:

1. Extend the scope
The annex of the EUTR contains a list of Timber and Timber products under the scope of the regulation, but does not contain products under chapter 49 of the Combined Nomenclature. This is inconsistent and needs to be addressed. In 2014 the volume of trade in printed products imports into the EU amounted to € 3 billion. CEPI believes that the non-inclusion of printed products can lead to circumvention: There is a risk that illegally logged wood, instead of being traded to the EU in the form of wood, pulp or paper, is traded to countries with less stringent rules on legality before being traded to the EU in the form of printed products. Due to this risk of circumvention, the problem the EUTR is trying to address may remain in the countries of origin, while manufacturing jobs are delocalised from the EU to countries with less stringent rules on timber legality.

  • CEPI urges the Commission to amend the annex of the EUTR and include products under the chapter 49 of the Combined Nomenclature.


2. Clarify and strengthen the role of certification in the due diligence system
Article 6b of the EUTR stipulates that operators may only assess the first of five criteria in the risk assessment part of their due diligence system: assurance of compliance with applicable legislation. CEPI believes that the forest certification schemes offer the appropriate tools to address also the remaining risk assessment criteria of article 6b. These are prevalence of illegal harvesting of specific tree species, prevalence of illegal harvesting or practices in the country of harvest and/or sub-national region where the timber was harvested, sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council or the Council of the European Union on timber imports or exports and the complexity of the supply chain of timber and timber products.

  •  CEPI urges the European Commission to clarify and strengthen the role of forest certification schemes by expanding their applicability to all risk assessment criteria and assess third party certified material as negligible risk.


3. Coordinate consistent enforcement
The level of enforcement is greatly varying between Member States. While essential elements of the regulation such as the level of fines are in the Member States competence, stronger coordination between Member States is needed to avoid the risk of entry points for illegal timber and timber products. Also, Member States interprete provisions of the regulation in their enforcement. This leads to increased administrative burden for companies operating in several EU countries.

  • The European Commission should coordinate more consistent enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation


4. Align internationally
Other world regions have introduced measures to curb the trade in illegally logged timber and timber products such as the US and Australia. While the legislations of these world regions address the same issue, the provisions of legislation are greatly varying. This weakens the international efforts to curb trade in illegal logging.

  • To strengthen the effectiveness of these instruments in the fight against illegal logging internationally, the EU should seek alignment with these trade partners.
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15 Sep.2015

Global Forest Products Industry Sponsors Awards Recognizing Student Architects

WASHINGTON - The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) sponsored prizes to the student winners of the TREEHOUSING International Wood Design Competition, who were recognized at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa.

The winning designs can be viewed at www.treehousing-competition.com.

In the Affordable Wood Housing category, Monica Wozniak of Poland won the student prize for her design Natural Wood Skin. The student prize in the Tall Wood Buildings category went to Tatiana Chaatziioannou of France and Soufiane Chibani of Germany for their design The Social Net Wood.

“Congratulations to Ms. Wozniak, Ms. Chaatziioannou and Ms. Chibani for their prestigious accomplishments in wood design,” said ICFPA President and Brazilian Tree Industry (Ibà) President Elizabeth de Carvalhaes. “Our industry provides sustainable, affordable building materials, and we are thrilled to see young architects and designers invested in the efficient use of these valuable natural resources.”

“Wood in building design is seeing a resurgence around the world as architects and designers learn to work with it in more innovative and sustainable ways,” said renowned architect Michael Green, who judged the competition entries. “New wood technologies are linking our rural forest economies with our growing urban environments with increasingly larger and now taller wood buildings.”

The ICFPA will continue its support of students and young professionals through its soon-to-be launched Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Award initiative, which aims to demonstrate the global forest products sector as a vibrant and dynamic workplace for the future.

The ICFPA represents more than 30 national and regional forest and paper associations around the world. Together, ICFPA members represent over 90 percent of global paper production and more than half of global wood production.

For more information about the global forest and paper industry, visit icfpa.org.

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03 Aug.2015 ,

CEPI's response to public consultation as part of the Fitness Check of the EU nature legislation (Birds and Habitats Directives)

The purpose of the consultation was to gather opinions on current EU nature conservation legislation (the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive) and its implementation to date, as part of the 'fitness check' that the European Commission is carrying out under its Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT).

Here's a short summary of how CEPI thinks the European nature conservation strategy should can improve:

  • Combine management and conservation: The voluntary work on SFM (e.g. through PEFC and FSC certification) should be recognized, however, protection measures under certification schemes should not lead to permanent conservation status.
  • Focus on the maintenance of valuable habitats in a dynamic model taking into account natural processes
  • It should be possible to adapt annexes in case of changed conservation needs
  • Owners should be able to request the reversal of a conservation area once this area does no longer serve the initial conservation objective
  • Leave the organisational implementation to the Member States
  • Take a cooperative approach respecting economic interests of forest owners and operators

 

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20 Mar.2015

Global Forest and Paper Industry Celebrates International Day of Forests (21 March)

WASHINGTON – The theme of the 2015 United Nations International Day of Forests is “Forests and Climate Change.” The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) is proud to represent the global forest products industry and its commitment to climate change mitigation all along the value chain.

The ICFPA’s Statement on Climate Change is available at: http://www.icfpa.org/uploads/Modules/Publications/icfpa-statement-on-climate-change.pdf

“Trees, especially those in well-managed forests, absorb carbon dioxide,” said ICFPA President Donna Harman. “Carbon dioxide remains stored when trees are used to make forest products, and that storage can be prolonged through recycling.”

In addition, the forest products industry plays an important role in contributing to the production of renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels by using residuals and byproducts to produce much of the energy required for its operations. These residuals and byproducts, known as biomass, are carbon neutral when combusted for energy, according to the international carbon accounting principle.

Through process and product innovation, the forest products industry is providing a wide range of new sustainable bio-based products that benefit society.
The ICFPA represents more than 30 national and regional forest and paper associations around the world. Together, ICFPA members represent over 90 percent of global paper production and half of global wood production.

For more information about the sustainability of the global forest and paper industry, visit icfpa.org.

 

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