UK, EU tighten import rules for timber

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) said from March 3, 2013, the European Union (EU) requires companies importing timber into the UK and EU-member countries to produce “chain of supply” documentation with legal sanctions for non-compliance.

It said on Monday the new law prohibits the placing of illegal timber and products derived from such timber in the EU market with operators needing to exercise “due diligence” when selling timber products there.

“However, it is likely that measures are already in place to ensure compliance as of that date,” said Matrade in a statement.

For Malaysian exporters, it said, these measures may include additional information requests on the products’ details and certification requests for systems that allow for some legality verification.

Among others are the Forest Stewardship Council and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification or equivalent verification scheme as certified timber products represent lower risk for EU operators and buyers.

Other licences such as the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade or Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade or Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species permits will also greatly ease timber exports into the United Kingdom and the 27-member EU.

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