EU cracks down on illegal timber trade

Mar 01, 2013
A truck carries away timber in the upper Baram region of Malaysia's eastern Sarawak state on July 22, 2010. The European Union is cracking down on the timber trade in an effort to curb illegal logging, blamed for a host of ills from social upheaval to environmental and economic damage.

The European Union is cracking down on the timber trade in an effort to curb illegal logging, blamed for a host of ills from social upheaval to environmental and economic damage.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said Friday that new rules effective from Sunday would affect everyone in the trade by barring illegally harvested timber from its huge internal market of some 500 million people.

" has severe economic, environmental and social impacts: it is associated with and , it can undermine the efforts and livelihoods of legitimate operators, and it can also contribute to conflicts over land and resources," it said in a statement.

The new regime covers both imported and domestically produced timber and timber products—from paper and pulp to solid wood and flooring.

When timber first comes to market, the owner must apply "due diligence" to ensure the wood is legally sourced.

Traders who buy or sell timber already on the market are required to keep adequate records so it can be traced back to check the country of origin, supplier and compliance with national rules.

The commission said the new regulations would back up US and Australian efforts and complement bilateral accords with the world's six main timber producers—Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), Ghana, Liberia and Indonesia.

in primary timber products was worth more than 108 billion euros in 2011, of which 35 percent was accounted for by the EU, according to Commission figures.

Explore further: Opinion Poll: Canada's climate change consensus confronts Keystone

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China demand fuels illegal logging, report says

Nov 29, 2012

The preservation of the world's forests "is in China's hands", a top environmental campaign group said Thursday, accusing the biggest wood importer and consumer of fuelling the illegal timber trade.

Using DNA in fight against illegal logging

Jun 30, 2011

Advances in DNA 'fingerprinting' and other genetic techniques led by Adelaide researchers are making it harder for illegal loggers to get away with destroying protected rainforests.

Lao forests feeding Vietnam industry, group says

Jul 28, 2011

(AP) -- Despite an export ban, Vietnamese companies are smuggling logs from the once rich forests of Laos to feed a billion-dollar wood industry that turns timber into furniture for export to the Europe and the United States, ...

Recommended for you

3Qs: Game theory and global climate talks

12 hours ago

Last week, China and the United States announced an ambitious climate agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions in both countries, a pledge that marks the first time that China has agreed to stop its growing emissions. ...

From hurricanes to drought, LatAm's volatile climate

13 hours ago

Sixteen years ago, Teodoro Acuna Zavala lost nearly everything when Hurricane Mitch ravaged his fields, pouring 10 days of torrential rains on Central America and killing more than 9,000 people.

Nicaragua: Studies say canal impact to be minimal

Nov 20, 2014

Officials said Thursday that studies have determined a $40 billion inter-oceanic canal across Nicaragua will have minimal impact on the environment and society, and construction is to begin next month.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.