The Timber Development Association (TDA) welcomes today's release by the Australian Department of Agriculture of a position paper on the Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation and guidance on how timber and wood products industry can comply at www.daff.gov.au/illegallogging. The release of the Government's guidance coincides with the release of industry developed timber due diligence tools and information through the industry website www.timberduediligence.com.au
"While many in the timber and wood products industry will argue the merits of the Regulation the reality is that it is now law and from 30 November 2014 most timber and wood product importers and domestic processors will have to comply" said Andrew Dunn, CEO of the TDA.
The position paper clarifies two important points that have been of concern. Firstly, whether or not an importer declares they have complied with the Regulation when their goods enter Australia, their goods cannot be held up at the border. Secondly, for 18 months following commencement, the department’s focus will be on helping importers and domestic processors comply with the due diligence requirements.
The guidance, while quite broad, will assist timber and wood product importers and domestic processors of raw logs clarify if they are affected and what they can do to meet the due diligence requirements in the Regulation.
The release of the Government's guidance coincides with the release of industry developed timber due diligence tools and information. These have been developed by TDA in a two year project with the support of Australian importers and domestic processors, via Forest and Wood Products Australia.
"The tools and additional information we have developed as part of this project will set Australian importers and domestic processors up to be much more prepared than those in the European Union and United States when similar regulations in those jurisdictions" said Stephen Mitchell, Sustainability Programme Manager with TDA.
About the Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation
The Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation applies to importers into Australia of "regulated timber products" such as sawn timber, wood panels, pulp, paper products, and wood furniture. It also applies to Australian processors of raw logs. The Regulation commences on 30 November 2014 and requires that before import of these products or processing of raw logs, due diligence is undertaken to minimise the risk that the timber products or raw logs were illegally logged or incorporate illegally logged timber. The Australian Department of Agriculture has stated that for the 18 months following commencement, the department’s focus will be on helping importers and processors to comply with the due diligence requirements.