The European Timber Regulation (EUTR)

Our customers can rest assured that legality has been assessed prior to arrival of goods in the EU

The purpose of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) is to secure that companies in the EU cooperate with their suppliers in countries outside the European Common Market in order to avoid the importation of illegally harvested wood to the EU.

See a copy of the full law text.

Due diligence system

The regulation states that the importers (named operators) are obliged to do their utmost to secure that the wood products imported are produced from legal timber.

Whether the timber is legal is determined by the legislation in the country of harvest. But because of the different levels of corruption in these countries, a risk assessment named 'Due Diligence' is required for each individual supplier, product, and wood specie in question.

Assessment areas

Wood species
Is illegal logging of requested wood species prevalent in country of harvest.

Supply Chain
How long is the chain from forest to finished product, and is there a chance of the wooden material being substituted during these processes.

Some types of products are known to have risk of illegal wood being used. Therefore it is important to assess the probability.

Operators must assess if the companies comply with the tax and customs authorities in their country.

Third countries and FLEGT license

To promote legality in the forest sector, the EU will enter into voluntary partnerships with third countries that are willing to develop their own legality system. Such a system must be implemented countrywide. Once the EU is satisfied with the control measures securing the legality of the wood, they will ratify agreements with the country in question. These countries will then be able to issue licenses called FLEGT for their shipments of wooden products, and operators in the EU can then forego their responsibility of Due Diligence for these shipments.

Not all third countries of harvest want to develop a countrywide legality system. However, Indonesia has created its own system called SVLK, and is now able to issue FLEGT licences for each delivery. Further countries which are also in negotiation with the EU are Vietnam, Malaysia, Ghana, Cameroon etc.

Certification systems

A way to mitigate against the importation of illegal wood could also be to source wood which has been checked against a credible legality standard by a third party. Such a standard might be FSC®.

This certification system is not enough to meet the EU Timber regulation but can be considered as an adjunct to the regulation. Please be informed that GTS is able to offer wooden products based on this certification scheme to you. You can read more about our certification scheme under "Forest Protection".