EUTR “business as usual” says TTF

1 July 2016

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has said it will be “business as usual” in regard to the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) following the Leave vote in the UK’s EU referendum.

The TTF has issued a statement reminding members that the EUTR is enshrined in UK law and is still being enforced in the UK and across the EU.

“It is a sensible risk-based regulation and an approach we continue to support,” it said.

TTF president Keith Fryer, speaking at a meeting of the London Hardwood Club on June 30, made an appeal to traders to not be tempted to water down their legal and sustainable sourcing following the vote.

“Because of the vote, some people are looking at some other supply chains,” he said.

“But do not be tempted to cut the environmental corner!”

TTF managing director David Hopkins said it was “inconceivable” that the UK would want to be seen to be weakening rules against illegal logging.

“From formal and informal discussions we’ve had with UK officials the mood seems to be to prove that the UK can continue with strong regime of environmental regulation, whether in or out of EU.

“I’d also like to remind everyone that the UK implemented the UK Timber Procurement Policy well ahead of EUTR, a policy which is still in existence and about which the government is rightly very proud.

“We’ve also had meetings and statements from contractors and other buyers stating that they will be maintaining the strictest environmental and responsible sourcing standards regardless of the UK position in EU. In this regard, for the timber trade, it is business as usual.”

A spokesperson for the EU Forest Law Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Facility said it was too early to provide answers about the status of the EUTR in the UK going forward.

“Right now the implications of the EU referendum for the EUTR remain unclear,” the spokesperson said.

“We are awaiting information from the European Commission and the UK so can't provide any solid answers at this time.”