EU Timber Regulation (EUTR)

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Requirements of the EUTR

In order to combat the global problem of illegally harvested timber and trading the EU established the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). Since the 3rd of March 2013, only legal timber and timber products are allowed to be imported into the EU.

The EUTR distinguishes two types of operations with different obligations:
  1. Traders - Companies which work with timber inside the EU, i.e. who bought timber from a European supplier. Traders are obliged to document the names of their suppliers and customers in order to assure the traceability of the product.
  2. EU Operators – Companies which place timber products on the EU market for the first time. The EU operators are required to exercise due diligence.

Organizations outside the EU are also concerned if they export timber or timber products to the EU as they have to supply information and valid evidence to their customers in the EU.

The EUTR is valid for many wood and wood fiber products, but not for all. Already finished products like brushes, corks, music instruments or printed paper are excluded. Raw wood, veneer, chipboards, cellulose, paper or furniture among others are concerned and subject to control.

The organizations concerned are controlled by competent authorities. German importers for example are controlled by the Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung (BLE – Federal Institute for Agriculture and Food).

Elements of the Due Diligence System

The due diligence system has to include at least three steps:
  1. Information on the product – tree species, country of harvest, volume / weight / units delivered, name and address of the supplier, name and address of the buyer, documents or other information indicating compliance with the applicable legislation. 
  2. Risk assessment – determination of risk concerning an illegal origin by means of: 
  • Compliance with applicable legislation.
  • Prevalence of illegal harvesting of specific tree species.
  • Prevalence of illegal harvesting in the country or sub-national region of harvest including consideration of the prevalence of armed conflict.
  • Existing sanctions of the UN Security Council or the EU Council on timber imports or exports.
  • Complexity of the supply chain. 
3. Risk mitigation: If a risk exists it must be mitigated by providing further information and, if necessary, by third party verification of the supplier.

The due diligence system according to the EU is very similar to the requirements of a certification and IMO can support organizations concerned with its experiences.

Our service

  • Development and implementation of the due diligence system in your organization 
  • Training
  • Monitoring
  • Third party verification of the suppliers on-site

Our experienced auditors can efficiently realize on-site controls, if applicable, or train your employees for this task.

Contact us


Department of Forestry & Timber
Fon +41 (0) 71 626 0 628 and
        +49 (0) 7531 9429130 (FM)
wood& (COC)


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