A new EU initiative will come into force on 3rd March 2013 to stop the sale of wood gained by illegal logging.
The EU Timber Regulation will affect the entire furniture supply chain, with a study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) suggesting that 20% of timber products entering the European market originate from an illegal source.
The regulation prohibits the sale of illegally harvested timber and wooden products and requires companies that first place timber products on the European market to implement a system that identifies, manages and mitigates the risk of sourcing illegally harvested timber or timber products.
The EU Timber Regulation establishes obligations for those buying and selling timber products within the European market, to maintain sufficient records to enable supply chain traceability.
The measure will affect sawn and machined wood, composite boards such as fibreboard, particleboard and plywood, non-upholstered furniture and garden furniture.
“Addressing the regulation will require some effort from those within the timber and wood products supply chains but it is clearly important that the practice of illegal logging be prevented due to its negative impacts on some of the world’s poorest economies,” said Peter Beele from the Furniture Industry Research Association.
“Illegal logging has a series of social and environmental effects such as unsustainable deforestation, lost revenue for the countries concerned and corruption that undermines the rule of law,” he added.