Myanmar authorities ready to cooperate with investigation in Holland

17 February 2020

Police in the Netherlands have seized a shipment of what is said to be Myanmar teak that was being transported from the Czech Republic. The police followed up with raids of several locations in Holland.

Under the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) importing wood without acceptable supporting documents showing a clear chain of custody, including the origin of the timber are required this has been a persistent issue in the Myanmar teak trade with the EU.

The latest ITTO market report states that Barber Cho, Secretary of Myanmar Forest Certification Committee ( MFCC) stated that the documents with shipments provide information on the shipper, the quantity in exact number of pieces and the cubic ton (CBT). Myanmar applies only volumetric weight ton - known as cubic ton - which is equivalent to 50ft3. Shipping documents can readily be checked against relevant documents issued by Forest Department.

Cho pointed out that, provided importers in EU keep track of the documents and carefully record any transfer of goods, the EU authorities can check whether the products are exported in accordance with the existing regulations in Myanmar.

But, even if inspection takes place at the first ‘Point of Entry’ in EU the documents provided by Myanmar exporters and the relevant Myanmar authorities still do not overcome the issue of Myanmar’s legality verification system being unacceptable to the EU.