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On March 3, 2013, the regulation EU 995/2010 Timber Regulation EUTR on the timber trade. It is spoken of as an innovative law that can be summarized as follows: anyone who sells wood on the European market will be legally obliged to demonstrate due diligence and negligible risk that the raw material comes from an illegal source.
The EU regulation 995/2010, better known as 'Due Diligence: Obligations of operators who market wood and products derived from it', is aimed at countering the trade in timber and derived products of illegal origin; for this purpose will introduce new obligations for producers and distributors.
There Due Diligence will prohibit the placing on the European market of illegally cut timber and derivative products. It will also oblige operators entering the EU market for the first time to observe the 'Due diligence'. To ensure the traceability of timber, traders will be obliged to keep a register of suppliers and customers, which allows you to access all data on timber.
This is an approach that has never been tried in any other sector for any material (neither concrete nor steel to speak of construction). In the absence of comparable precedents, the wood sector operators they have some (justifiable) concern. We talked about it with David Venables, European director ofAmerican Hardwood Export Council (AHEC)
“Starting from March 2013, the wood sector in Europe will have its eyes on it: if the EUTR law it works and is enforced equally by all members of the European Union, and satisfies non-governmental organizations, then it will give a huge boost to credibility towards consumers, turning it into a market opportunity "Venables said.
"On the other hand - continued the AHEC director - this law could instead be used as an additional tool to damage a sector that is already suffering from the effects of the recession. Very strict controls will probably be needed to dispel all criticisms, and the inevitable echo that will arise around possible violations could be used to obfuscate the reputation of the entire wood industry”.
"Here because EUTR it is also a challenge from a technical and communication point of view, as it must convey complex and new content to tens of thousands of operators in the European Union "Venables added. "Criticize the wood industry for any failure to win this challenge it would be incorrect, since they are the competing materials of wood, such as steel and concrete, which would benefit the most since the industries producing these materials are not currently required to use legal raw materials ”.
Overall, the opinion of the European director of AHEC is that the new EUTR regulation, as formulated now, you do not help the market: "Final guidelines have yet to be issued and there is still a lot of confusion regarding control organizations, risk analysis and acceptable documentation. In many countries it is also necessary to clarify the national approach to law enforcement ".
Despite the hardwood from the United States is assessed as low risk, AHEC's European office has been very busy in recent months to answer the many questions of US exporters and European importers who still do not know how to deal with the new EUTR regulation.
"The most frequently asked questions concern: documentation, denomination of the species is traceability to go back to forest region of origin”, explained Venables. "I realize that timber traders must take the new regulation very seriously but I fear that, in the absence of appropriate guidelines from the European Community, traders may become overly cautious, asking for reassurance and thinking they need to provide information which are not actually required by the regulation, such as certification for timber from low-risk regions ”. This would not benefit the market.