Commission’s report on status of implementation of EU forest protection law due in weeks

Brussels – In the coming weeks, the European Commission will adopt a report assessing the implementation and effectiveness of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which became applicable in March 2013, and formulate recommendations about its next steps.

The EUTR is a strong and important legal instrument to regulate the European market for timber and timber products. It was specifically designed to combat the trade in illegal timber.

Yet weak enforcement and late implementation of the EUTR and the failure to comply by many European companies have hindered its effectiveness and thus undermined Europe’s fight against illegal logging and associated trade.

Once published, the Commission’s report will be submitted to the Council and European Parliament. An exchange of views is due to be held in the Agriculture Council on 10 May.

Commenting on the EUTR’s implementation, Sébastien Risso, Greenpeace EU forest policy director, said: “Europe’s market is contaminated with timber from countries where forests are being illegally cleared and degraded. There is a solid piece of law that could prevent this, but delays, deficiencies, and European governments’ lack of resolve to apply the law vigorously are casting doubts over Europe’s commitment to fight illegal timber trade. If the EU wants to be a credible global force in forest protection, it must make sure European companies abide by the law and keep illegal timber out of the market”.

EUTR evaluation – Media brief – February 2016