The EU Timber Regulation, EUTR, has been in force since March 3, 2013. The EUTR is part of the European Union Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).
FLEGT has been created to stop the illegal logging and trade of illegal timber. The plan aims to (1) counteract the environmental and social damage caused by unregulated and illegal logging, (2) increase timber trade revenues for the often poor wood-producing countries and (3) prevent illegal (and therefore usually cheaper) timber from pushing sustainably produced timber out of the market. The Action Plan was adopted by the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers in 2005.
The regulation differentiates between operators and traders. Operators are those parties who initially place timber or timber products on the market. Traders are all persons who trade timber or timber products on the market with the exception of operators and consumers (non-commercial).
Traders have to keep records of their suppliers and customers and archive them for five years to ensure their traceability within the internal market.
The regulation applies to a very wide range of timber and timber products, including solid wood products, wood flooring, plywood, wood pulp and paper. Recycled products as well as rattan, bamboo and printed paper such as books, magazines and newspapers are not (currently) covered by the regulation.
The regulation applies to both imported and EU-produced timber and timber products. The regulation contains three principal obligations for operators:
- ban on the commercialisation of illegally harvested timber or timber products derived from such timber;
- applying a system of due diligence to ensure that illegally harvested timber is not placed on the market;
- maintain and regularly evaluate the due diligence system either by themselves or by monitoring organisations.
The due diligence system must:
1. provide information e.g. about the timber type, country of origin, amount, supplier & customer name and address and documentation stating that the timber has been harvested in compliance with applicable law;
2. analyse the risk that the timber has been illegally logged. The following criteria, among others, can be used for this purpose:
- Has the timber been demonstrably legally logged, verified by a third party (declaration of legality) or accompanied by a certificate of sustainable forest management?
- Is there a lot of illegal logging for the timber type in question?
- Is illegal logging common in the country (region) of origin?
- Do UN or EU sanctions apply to timber imports from the country of origin, possibly as a result of armed conflict(s) in the country concerned?
- How complex is the timber supply chain?
3. Mitigation measures to be described when (high) risks are identified. For example, providing additional information or control by an independent third party.
Timber and timber products with a certificate for sustainable forest management (such as FSC and PEFC) or legality declarations (such as TLTV, VLO, VLC, etc.) do not automatically comply with the regulation.
Naturally, these systems do serve well when conducting a risk analysis. EU member states, in this case the Dutch government, oversee compliance.
The regulation provides options for first and second line oversight. The competent authorities – in this case the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) – directly supervise operators and traders.
Operators may also join a monitoring organisation. This monitoring organisation, requiring formal recognition by the European Commission, must draw up a due diligence system, monitor member companies on the use of this system and is itself monitored by the competent authority.
We employ a clear work method and structure, which captures and follows the complete EUTR. We ensure that everyone involved in the purchase of timber is aware of our policy and has the knowledge to implement it. We acknowledge our responsibility towards the environment and our planet. Our customers must be assured that our trade activities are based on properly managed forests in the country of origin.
We commit to procuring our timber from sources who prefer properly managed forests and to use a risk assessment tool as part of the due diligence system to monitor compliance by suppliers. We acknowledge that credible independent forest certification and a CoC provide assurance that timber is sourced from legal and well-managed forests. We exclusively accept and use labels or certificates that contain environmental or sustainability statements. These statements are to be supported by publicly available standards that are established in a fully transparent, participatory and objective process and can be verified by independent third parties.
We do not purchase timber and timber products of which the sourcing is in violation of any international regulations. We are committed to continually increasing the proportion of timber and timber products originating from legal and properly managed forests.
Novum Timber values sustainable entrepreneurship.
Sustainable entrepreneurship is an ongoing process in which we strive to improve on a corporate and social level by integrating social, environmental and economic considerations into business operations and company policy in a balanced and coherent way. People, Planet, Profit matter to us. Our sustainability policy: Novum Timber has changed its sustainability policy (Policy) in all its areas (investments, products, processes, procurement). This implies commitment from everyone (Participation) and it requires enthusiasm and drive (Passion). The Sustainable Business Charter is used as a policy instrument in the pursuit of continuous improvement.
Novum Timber is an FSC member and also imports FSC certified hardwood.
Novum Timber is not directly or indirectly involved with the following activities:
- illegal logging or the trade of illegal timber or forest products;
- violation of traditional rights and human rights during forestry operations;
- destruction of ‘high conversation values’ during forestry operations;
- significant conversion of forests into plantations or other land usage;
- introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for forestry operations.
Novum Timber upholds forest quality with respect for people, plants and animals.
Novum Timber and FSC®
The FSC system makes sure that the world’s forests can be preserved through responsible forest management. Responsible forest management includes protecting the habitat of plants and animals and respect for the rights of local population and forest workers. Responsible management also includes the creation of timber products and thereby revenue while preserving the forest. A properly managed forest is at less risk to be logged for other purposes, such as the development of palm oil or soya plantations and mining operations.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international organisation committed to conservation and responsible forest management worldwide. According to the FSC, responsible forest management means a balanced consideration of the ecological, social and economic aspects associated with forest management.
FSC is very open about its processes. This transparency helps explain why FSC is supported by all major environmental and development organisations. And that makes FSC unique!
Timber and paper products from an FSC-certified forest can be recognised by their FSC label. To ensure that products bearing this label actually come from responsibly managed forests, all stages in the product’s commercial chain must be certified. For example, a forest manager, paper mill, paper wholesaler and printing company all have to demonstrate compliance with FSC rules before a product can be sold as FSC-certified with the accompanying logo. These companies are certified by independent certifiers.
The higher the demand for FSC products, the more hectares of forest will be managed according to FSC guidelines. And the more people and animals that depend on the forest will benefit!
FSC contributes to a responsible living environment for animals and people worldwide, and to a direct protection of all forests.
Using Novum Timber BV’s hardwood adds economic value. And in addition, you make sure that forests are preserved. After all, don’t we all want to continue enjoying Mother Nature and our paper and timber products?
All steps involved in the purchase of timber products must comply with the requirements set by FSC® for carrying a label. This is verified by independent certifiers. An FSC® product complies with the following requirements:
It has been harvested according to national and international law with full user rights.
FSC® timber has been harvested with respect for the local population and forest workers
FSC® products are used efficiently and optimally, timber has no waste
The impact on the biodiversity of a forest is minimised at the time of harvesting
FSC® is responsible for the quality of a forest which is also evaluated.
1. The FSC members set the course
FSC is managed by more than 800 members, drawn from environmental and development organisations, trade unions and companies. These members monitor FSC, monitor whether the system is correct and viable and help the FSC make the right choices.
2. FSC is the highest standard for responsible forest management
FSC sets the bar for forest certification systems. They provide the best guarantee of responsible forest management.
3. FSC is solid and reliable
FSC is the most widely used system, even by large international players. It is the number 1 for company certification systems.
4. Major impact
FSC is active in over a hundred countries. Forests are being properly protected
5. Impact on nature
FSC provides the best protection to ecosystems and endangered species through appropriate forest certification systems.
6. We have influential support
FSC is supported by the largest environmental organisations, such as the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace.
7. FSC is transparent
All FSC audits are carried out by independent parties and every decision is made public.
8. (Forest) Management principles are identical everywhere
FSC forest management is based on the same principles and criteria in every country.
9. Involvement of local people
FSC involves and consults local populations. All rights and concerns, as well as the interests of the local population, are respected.
10. FSC is recognised
The FSC is recognised by BREAAM. FSC is also a member of ISEAL Alliance, the worldwide association for sustainability standards.