The European Commission has now publicised the delegated regulation that it adopted on 23 February, which sets out rules according to which monitoring organisations will be recognised under the Timber Regulation.
Our initial analysis of the delegated act suggests that the Commission has fulfilled its legal mandate, as it supplements the recognition and withdrawal procedures set out in the Timber Regulation, but that a number of key questions remain.
The delegated act outlines processes for how the recognition and withdrawal of recognition of monitoring organisations will operate in practice, including indications of the expertise and capacity that monitoring organisations will need to be able to demonstrate.
However, importantly, it does not take advantage of the opportunity presented to ensure a clear, coherent system for all stakeholders. Fundamental questions remain as to the exact detail of responsibilities, timescales and requirements that must be met. In addition the impacts of EU transparency legislation, in particular access to information provisions, are not reflected.
Until these details are developed, the processes outlined, and decisions made according to them, will lack transparency and accountability.