Lift it up - How to make the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) 'fit for purpose'
Posted on 27 April 2021
Environmental crime is the third largest crime sector in the world and amounted to USD 110–281 billion in 2018. Forestry crime and illegal logging accounted for the largest share with USD 51–152 billion.
Back in 2010, the EU took a major step forward in the fight against illegal timber by adopting the EU Tim - ber Regulation (EUTR), which has been in force since 2013. The EUTR was a landmark piece of legislation and was seen as a model and inspiration for potential new laws addressing deforestation and forest degradation.
Nevertheless, due to disparate and inadequate implementation and legal loopholes, the EUTR has not been able to stop or significantly reduce imports of illegal timber products or illegal logging within the borders of the EU. In a context where deforestation, forest degradation and biodiversity loss are linked to climate change and the rise of pandemics the upcoming review of the EUTR in 2021 is a unique opportunity to address the shortcomings and inconsistencies of the EUTR, including the ones identified during the previous review in 2015.
WWF calls on the European Commission to revise the EUTR:
Extend due diligence obligations to include traders and to identify stakeholders working actively to undermine the spirit of the law, such as those actively exploiting loopholes to circumvent the goal of the EUTR, including those inciting and aiding in violations
Ensure stringent and harmonised implementation with a special focus on strong and congruent national laws and dissuasive penalty regimes
Expand the scope of the EUTR to include all products containing wood
Ensure more transparency with a special focus on publicly available information about the species and origin, statistics and case information from the competent authorities; monitoring organisations need to eliminate conflicts of interest
Lift it up - How to make the EU Timber Regulation EUTR 'fit for purpose'