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EU Timber Regulation (EUTR)

Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 came into force on 3 March 2013 and is legally binding on all 28 EU Member States. It prohibits the placing of illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber on the EU market. The EU Timber Regulation is applicable to domestic timber, originating from the EU, and that originating from third countries (non-EU).

The primary aim of the EUTR is to ensure that only timber products which have been produced in accordance with the national legislation of the country of harvest (timber-producing country) enter the European Union. This measure is being taken to prevent and combat trade in illegally harvested wood and therefore prevent that such products are placed on the EU market.


​Obligations 

The EUTR focuses on the trade of illegally harvested timber and timber products by imposing three key obligations:

    1. It prohibits the placing of illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber on the EU market for the first time;
    2. Operators who place timber products on the EU market for the first time are required to exercise ‘due diligence’;
    3. Traders are required to keep information about their suppliers and customers to enable timber traceability.

Who is affected?

The EUTR places obligations on those who deal with timber and timber products, including paper articles for the purpose of processing or for distribution to commercial or non-commercial consumers, or for use in their own business. It is to be noted that the EUTR does not impose requirements on non-commercial consumers. The responsibilities are divided into two categories within the supply chain: operators and traders.

It is important that you correctly identify which category describes your company’s activities for each of your timber products to understand your obligations under the EUTR.

​​Operator​ Trader
An operator is the person who first places timber products on the EU market A trader buys or sells timber products, for commercial purposes, which are already placed on the EU market
​Maintain and regularly evaluate a due diligence system for each product that is going to be placed on the EU market. ​Keep information about the suppliers and customers (businesses not end consumers) for traceability purposes.​
​Keep adequate records of the information collected concerning the supply, as required for the due diligence system, which should be retained for a period of 5 years and made available to the Competent Authority when requested.​ Information should be retained for a period of 5 years and made available to the Competent Authority if requested.​
   

The Due Diligence System (DDS)

The due diligence system is a framework of procedures and measures whereby operators undertake a risk management exercise to minimize the risk of illegal timber entering their supply chain.

The DDS process has to be effected prior to placing any order for the timber products to ensure that the products being purchased and subsequently placed on the EU market are compliant with the EUTR and carry negligible risk of being illegal.

The due diligence system is based on three main elements:

1. Measures and procedures providing access to information

  • Description including trade name, type of product and name of tree species;
  • Country of harvest, sub-national region and concession of harvest;
  • Quantity expressed in volume, weight or number of units;
  • Name and contact details of the suppliers;
  • Documents or other information indicating compliance with national legislation of the country of harvest.

2. Risk Assessment - procedures based on the information gathered enabling the operator to analyse the risk of illegally harvested timber:

  • Assurance of compliance with applicable legislation, including certification or third-party schemes;
  • Prevalence of illegal harvesting of specific tree species;
  • Prevalence of illegal harvesting methods in the country of harvest including consideration of armed conflict;
  • Sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council or the Council of the EU;
  • Complexity of the supply chain of the timber and timber products.

3. Risk Mitigation - a set of measures and procedures which are adequate and proportionate to minimise the risk effectively. This step is necessary if the risk assessment process did not result in negligible/low risk. Risk mitigation may include:

  • Additional information from supplier;
  • Third party verification.​

After gathering all the necessary information (step 1), the operator has to carry out a full risk assessment to determine whether there is negligible risk that the timber and timber products have originated from an illegal source so that the products can be placed on the market. In case there is reason to believe that the risk is not negligible, due to lack of information or suspicion of illegality, risk mitigation is performed to determine whether the risk can be minimized.

It is important that when requested by the Directorate, operators should have available not only a set of documents provided by their suppliers, but also a framework showing that they carried out all the steps of the DDS, for each shipment.


What products are covered by the EUTR?

Products covered by the EUTR are determined by their customs nomenclature codes and are listed in the Annex to the EU Timber Regulation as per attached Product Scope​. These include:

  • A wide range of timber products including solid wood, plywood, pulp and paper.
  • Packing cases, crates, drums, cable-drums and other packing material made of wood (Except packaging material used exclusively as packing material to support, protect or carry another product placed on the market).

Not included are;

  • Waste and recycled products – those timber and timber products that have completed their lifecycle and would otherwise be disposed of as waste, as defined in Article 3(1) of ​Directive 2008/​98/EC​ –Please note that it is the responsibility of the operator to provide proof that the product is derived from waste or recycled material.
  • Printed papers such as books, magazines and newspapers.
  • Packaging material used exclusively to support, protect or carry another product.
  • List of exempt products​​​ by their nomenclature codes.

CITES and FLEGT-licensed Timber

The Regulation considers that timber and timber products covered by a CITES permit (according to Regulation (EC) No 338/97) or a FLEGT license fully meet its requirements, therefore due diligence for these products is not required.

Operators need to keep this documentation to be able to demonstrate that the timber and timber products are covered by the relevant documentation: CITES import/export permit or a FLEGT license.

Monitoring Organisations

Monitoring organisations are companies legally established within the EU and recognised by the EU Commission, as per the Delegated Regulation, to assist operators to comply with the EUTR. These organisations shall maintain and evaluate a due diligence system and grant operators the right to use it, as well as verify that the system is being used properly. In the event that an operator fails to use the system properly, the Monitoring Organisation may take the appropriate action and notify the competent authority. A list of recognised monitoring organisations together with the Member States in which they operate can be accessed through the EU Commission’s website. This list may be periodically updated following the evaluation of applications from organisations seeking to become recognised. Currently there are 9 recognised monitoring organisations; 5 of these may operate in all EU Member States.

Legal Basis:

  • Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market. EN | MT​
  • Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 363/2012  of 23 February 2012 on the procedural rules for the recognition and withdrawal of recognition of monitoring organisations as provided for in the EU Timber Regulation. EN | MT​
  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 607/2012of 6 July 2012 on the detailed rules concerning the due diligence system and the frequency and nature of checks on monitoring organisations as provided for in the EU Timber Regulation. EN | MT
  • L.N. 79 of 2015 Timber and Timber Products (Placing on the Market) Regulations, 2015 (S.L. 549.94) EN | MT​

Competent Authority

The Agricultural Directorate has been designated as the Competent Authority responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the EUTR in Malta. This includes carrying out checks on operators and monitoring organisations. The Directorate has published a Legal Notice under the Environment Protection Act (CAP. 549) to implement the EUTR in Malta.

Further information:

For the correct application of the EUTR the below guidance document provides additional information and explanation on what is required to comply with the obligations of the Regulation. Some sections of the document have been updated in 2015 and may be found below.


Guidance Document for the EU Timber Regulation – Updated 12 February 2016 EN  | MT

EUTR leaflet EN | MT


List of useful websites​ for carrying out risk assessment and keeping up to date with the latest news in the forestry sector


EU Briefing Notes:

March - April 2019

June - August 2018

​​Older briefing notes can be found here


Country Profile Overview

The first five country profile overviews prepared by the Commission on timber-exporting third countries have been released, to help operators and Competent Authorities identify and assess the risk of sourcing illegally harvested timber for a sound implementation of the EU Timber Regulation: Brazil, China, Myanmar, Russian Federation and Ukraine​.

An overview of the EUTR compliance checks performed and penalties imposed by EU Member States’ and EEA Competent Authorities to enforce the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation is planned to be produced biennially. These reports are based on the data provided by the Competent Authorities on a voluntary basis in a format agreed with them and compiled by UNEP-WCMC as a consultant of the European Commission. So far the overviews cover the following periods:

March-May 2017June-November 2017​​



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