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How is the EUTR enforced in Europe?

ClientEarth has looked at the penalties and enforcement practices of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) in countries across Europe.

Our new briefings, which focus on Austria, Denmark and Finland, have found that enforcement of the EUTR in these countries vary significantly, affecting the operation of the EUTR.

We have also updated our older briefings on France, Belgium and Romania.

We have found that in Austria, possible penalties are mainly financial administrative sanctions, where breaches of the EUTR can result in fines of between €7,000 and €30,000.

In contrast, in Denmark penalties are mainly criminal and companies breaching the EUTR can receive up to one year of detention for intentional breaches. In Finland, both administrative and criminal sanctions can apply.

ClientEarth forests lawyer Diane de Rouvre said: “Variations in implementation and enforcement of the EUTR affect how the EUTR operates, and mean that the tools for EU (and non-EU) civil society to support enforcement differ. By highlighting these differences and sharing information which is not easily available, we show where progress has been made and where gaps still exist.”

Romania adopted new rules on penalties for EUTR violations in September 2016. They introduced changes concerning the nature and amount of fines which can be imposed on operators for placing illegal timber on the market and for not complying with the due diligence obligation.

The EUTR seeks to prevent illegally harvested timber and timber products from being placed on the EU market. The EUTR is implemented in each EU Member State via national legislation, and enforced by national authorities.

ClientEarth’s new briefings provide a useful resource for comparing how different countries implement and enforce the EUTR.

Read the full briefings here: The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) implementation and enforcement updates

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Morgan McBride

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