EU Timber Regulation: Proof of legality required for wood imports as from March 2013
The EU Timber Regulation already in force becomes operational on 3 March 2013. As from this date, market players in the EU are officially prohibited from putting illegally felled timber and timber products on the market. In view of the approaching effective date, EU timber trade legislation for com-bating illegal felling was at the forefront of this year’s foreign-trade meeting organised by the foreign-trade unit of the German Timber Trade Federation on 13 April 2012. Counsellor Thorsten Hinrichs of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection informed players in the foreign trade sector about the expected bureaucratic requirements that the new EU Timber Regulation will entail for operators who place timber and timber products on the domestic market from outside the EU. At the 2011 foreign-trade meeting Hinrichs had already presented the German “Holzhandels-Sicherungs-Gesetz” (HolzSiG) which was a first step in implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 2173/2005 on the establishment of a FLEGT licensing scheme for imports of timber into the European Community. The HolzSiG is currently being augmented with arrangements for implementing the EU Timber Regulation.