The EU is one of the world’s largest consumers of timber, but illegal harvesting and trade in illegal timber products can damage forests and the people that rely on them.
The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), introduced five years ago this month, aims to prevent illegal timber from entering the EU market.
Companies must check the risk of illegal timber products in their supply chains, under the law, and in the past few years, EU countries have started to take the EU Timber Regulation more seriously.
In 2016, a court in Sweden ruled that a company was in violation of the EUTR for importing timber from Myanmar without properly assessing if it was logged legally.
This case sparked a wave of enforcement cases across Europe, as it made clear that companies have to trace their supply chains right back to the point of the timber being harvested.
However, only a small number of EU countries have committed to enforcing the EUTR properly.
By trying to stop illegal logging through this key trade measure, the EU can support international efforts to halt deforestation, protect nature and fight climate change.
Read the Euractiv article: EU should stop illegal logging by stepping up enforcement of Timber Regulation