Frequently Asked Questions

What is EU Timber Regulation?


European Union (EU) countries like Belgium are implementing an action plan known as the EU “Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade” or FLEGT Action Plan. The objective of this policy is to manage the problem of illegal logging. An important component of this action plan is a piece of legislation referred to as the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). This legislation means that it is illegal to sell and distribute timber and wood products in the EU market, no matter where they were harvested, without making considerable efforts to confirm that such products were legally sourced.


What is due diligence?


Compliance with the legislation depends on a comprehensive due diligence system to collect the documentation and proof of legality. This due diligence system is the heart of EUTR. Due diligence has three consecutive steps: provision of information, risk assessment and risk mitigation.


What are the penalties for non-compliance?


The penalties may include: suspension of permission to trade, seizure of timber/wood products, fines proportionate to the level of environmental damage, tax loss, economic detriment or value of the timber products.


What are timber certification schemes?


Certification is necessary to enable participants to compare their forest management practices against current standards and to ensure compliance with such standards. Timber certification may also be used to validate any type of environmental claim made by a producer, or to provide objectively stated facts about the timber products and their forest of origin that are not normally disclosed by the producer or manufacturer.


Do the members of the National Federation of Timber Traders get audited?


Yes, they are audited by a third party organization enlisted by the federation. The audit is a compulsory requirement of the Due Diligence system which are required of all members before they can carry the logo of the organization.


Is timber sustainable?


Across most industries today, there is an increasing emphasis on responsible sourcing and the use of low carbon, energy-efficient materials. Timber is one of the greenest materials available. It absorbs carbon while growing, uses low energy in conversion to wood-based products and is a renewable material.