Denmark sanctions entire Burmese teak industry

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) today (March 15) welcomed a ruling by Danish authorities which have placed injunctions on all Danish operators placing Burmese teak on the country’s market.

The decision follows EIA’s submission of evidence that Danish timber company Keflico violated the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) and sets a clear precedent that other EUTR Competent Authorities must follow.

Denmark’s actions follow a November 2016 decision in Sweden where enforcement officials successfully prosecuted Almtra Nordic for breaching the EUTR.

“Denmark’s leadership in EUTR enforcement underpins similar rulings already made in Sweden and leaves no doubt that anyone placing Burmese teak on the EU market under current conditions is in breach of European law,” said EIA Forests Campaigner Peter Cooper.

“With Denmark setting a clear precedent on a case submitted by EIA, we now expect authorities in Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and the UK to rapidly resolve the remaining 12 cases submitted by EIA.”

EIA’s cases focused on the due diligence requirements of the EUTR, which oblige companies placing timber on the EU market to identify and mitigate any risks of illegality within their supply chains. Cases have been submitted towards:

  • Antonini Legnami, Basso Legnami and Bellotti Spa in Italy;
  • Boogaerdt Wood, Gold Teak Holdings and World Wood in the Netherlands;
  • Crown Teak and Vandercasteele Hout Import in Belgium;
  • Teak Solutions in Germany (this case has been transferred to Spain);
  • Moody Decking, Stones Marine Timber and DA Watts and Sons (Wattsons) in the UK

Due to the high risk of illegality and a fundamental lack of transparency by the Myanmar Timber Enterprise (a state-owned company responsible for the cutting and export of timber in Myanmar), it is not currently possible for any company to successfully apply due diligence to Burmese teak.

“The Myanmar Timber Enterprise needs to urgently address illegality within its operations and provide access to independent monitoring of its operations – or risk permanently losing access to Europe’s lucrative teak market,” added Cooper.

• Interviews are available on request; please contact Peter Cooper via petercooper@eia-international.org or telephone +44 20 7354 7960.

EDITORS’ NOTES

1. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is a UK- and Washington DC-based Non-Governmental Organisationthat investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental crimes, including illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, hazardous waste and trade in climate- and ozone-altering chemicals.

2. Information from the Danish authorities is available (in Danish) at http://mst.dk/service/nyheder/nyhedsarkiv/

Environmental Investigation Agency
62-63 Upper Street
London N1 0NY
UK
www.eia-international.org
Tel: +44 207 354 7960

ends

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