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Forest trade: new EU law and our helpful guide

 
FSC logs from MexicoFSC wood, sustainably harvested from the Uzachi forest in Oaxaca, Mexico © N.C. Turner / WWF-Canon

Despite global work to promote responsible forest management and trade, the trade in wood and paper from illegal or controversial sources continues – that’s why a new EU regulation is on its way.

From 3 March 2013 all businesses putting any timber products on the European market need to take notice, as they may be required to take specific steps. That’s where new guidance we’ve sponsored can help.

For the past year we’ve worked with a group of industry experts to come up with comprehensive guidance that:

  • helps organisations see if they are affected by the new EU legislation, and what their obligations might be
  • helps businesses develop and implement a due diligence system to minimise the risk of illegal timber being in their supply chain
  • describes good practices for responsible trade in timber and timber products that go beyond the minimum requirements of the new EU regulation.

I’m proud to say that the new guidelines to be published on 6 December – with the snappy title of:  ‘PAS 2021: Exercising due diligence in establishing the legal origin of timber and timber products – Guide to Regulation (EU) No 995/2010‘ – are sponsored by WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) in the UK, and are part of our work supporting the responsible sourcing of forest goods and sustainable forest management.

GFTN-UK has funded the licensing of PAS2021 with the British Standards Institution (BSI), and it’s available as a free download for any business in the UK. You can download PAS 2021 here.

Choosing FSC certified toilet paperIt’s not just businesses that can use sustainable wood products – everyone can! © Benjamin Ealovega / WWF-UK

We’ll be collaborating with a lot of groups and supply chains over the next year to help more people understand what to do – and how to play their part in making Europe a closed market for illegal forest goods, and increasingly one that prefers credibly certified ones.

And we can all help promote legal and sustainable forest trade every day by choosing credibly certified forest products (including wood and paper), such as those bearing the FSC tree logo.

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