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New legal timber regulations explained

2 September 2013

ClientEarth, an environmental organisation, has published a document entitled ‘Implications of the new EU Timber Regulation for public procurement’. Public authorities spend hundreds of billions of euros on goods, services and works, and with this public authorities can make a real impact when purchasing timber products. Therefore, ensuring that they are compliant with the new EUTR and its implications for procurement policy as well as adopting best practice is important for public bodies.

The authors of the document stress that good information gathering and record-keeping is central to this process. Although it is unlikely that public authorities will have to exercise the same due diligence as timber suppliers with regard to the product’s provenance, they will have to keep records of some other details. Additionally, the document notes that while the EUTR requires legal timber to be sourced by public authorities, it does not require that timber come from sustainably managed sources. Conversely, timber that is sustainably sourced cannot be presumed to be legal according to the EUTR rules.

The document concludes by saying that public bodies need to first assess whether and to what degree they are impacted by the EUTR: for example, as a supplier who first places timber on the EU market, to those of a trader further down the supply chain.

For more information, click here.