Friday, August 30, 2013
The Forestry Commission and Natural Resources Wales will begin issuing a new document to British timber growers to demonstrate that they are complying with the new European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR).
The EUTR is designed to ensure that only legally felled timber is placed on EU markets, and it came into force this year. The new document will be issued with felling licences and grant agreements.
The move follows close development work and consultation with Confor, the forest and timber industries’ trade association. Confor chief executive Stuart Goodall welcomed the development, saying, “I’m very pleased that the Forestry Commission and NRW have agreed to issue this document with felling licences and grant agreements. It should help to simplify the process of complying with the new legislation.”
The National Measurement Office (NMO) is responsible for implementing the EUTR in the UK, and Richard Howe from the Forestry Commission explained,”The EU Timber Regulation is an important international tool to help tackle the problem of illegal logging.
“However, we already have robust forestry controls and high levels of compliance in Great Britain. Therefore to minimise the extra regulatory burden on the sector we worked closely with Confor and colleagues in Defra and the NMO to ensure that full account is taken of this when the Regulation is implemented.”
The form provides a link to felling licences or grant agreements, and demonstrates that timber was harvested legally. The Forestry Commission or NRW will complete the case details on the form as necessary, and sign and date it. The form will then be sent out with the felling licence or relevant grant agreement along with a simple, one-page operations note outlining what owners need to do.
If the owner sells trees standing and another business harvests them, the form will be passed, along with a copy of the licence or grant agreement, to the person who will be acting as the ‘operator’ under the terms of the EUTR.
Stuart Goodall commented, “Most of Britain’s timber growers manage their forests legally and sustainably. They are understandably frustrated that they have to comply with more legislation which is designed primarily to tackle illegal or unsustainable practices in other countries. However, this simple process which we have developed should ease the burden significantly.”