EUTR (EU Timber Regulation)

Its the law! are you doing your bit?
Read my views on the matter.


The new EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) became law on 3rd March 2013. The new rules cover many aspects of the timber trade including furniture made from wood.  For us we have already taken steps to make sure that all the raw materials we purchase comply with the rules.  This inturn means any furniture we supply our customers will also comply.  If you as our customer are ever required to prove where the timber we use in the products we supply comes from, we can provide you with appropriate documentation.  

Like most new rules there has been a bit of time to get used to them but be warned you could face criminal charge if the products you sell do not comply.  While everything we supply you will be safe and we guarantee you that. Be warned if you buy cheap imported products from countries like China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.  Even if you are having your own products made by people you trust, you need to make sure that the timber being used complies and you have the paperwork to prove it.

With the UK awash with cheap rubbish furniture that comes in from all over the world, I have no idea how these new rules are ever going to be enforced.  I have to say though I welcome them, it may help to level the playing field a bit for companies like mine that try to do the right thing by buying approved materials and manufacturing to a high spec in the UK.

My understanding of the rules are indeed just that.  I have listed below some of the important issues for you to peruse and act on or not, as you see fit.  I am not an expert on the new rules, I am just trying to warn those of you that may come unstuck due to simply not being aware of EUTR.   As with many laws you never realise you have broken them till you get caught.

• The EU Timber Regulation came into force in the UK on 03-03-13. It bans illegal timber in the EU and requires those companies that place wood or wood products on the EU market for the first time to assess the risk that those products may have come from an illegal source and act to mitigate any identified risks. This is known as due diligence and like all due diligence, it must happen before you buy the product. It has to be undertaken even if the product is certified.

• The law states that you must keep a record of the supplier, the product species, where it comes from, and the amount bought. You must also record your risk assessment on the product, based on the evidence you have collected.

• In determining the level of risk you must use credible information about the country of origin, the supplier, the product and any other sources of information. You should not place an order for a product until you have been through this process and taken any necessary measures to minimise your risk from the product. You should also record what action you are taking to reduce your risk going forward.

• If you are buying product that is already in the EU and on which due diligence has taken place you need to keep records from whom you bought the product from and to whom you sold it. This helps the enforcement authority to trace illegal products up and down the supply chain and take them off the market if needed.

• It would be a good idea to engage an independent auditor to assesses what you have done and how you have done it.

The European Commission has launched an EUTR Website. You can access it here