TTF approval prepares UCM for EU illegal wood crackdown23 February 2009
Leading agency and trading group UCM Timber plc says approval for its environmental controls from The Timber Trade Federation leaves it ready for proposed new European Union rules which will put greater onus on timber companies to ensure they’re not handling illegally logged material.
The company has gained official approval from the technical panel of the TTF’s Forests Forever environmental committee for its due diligence process used to assess the risk of illegal wood getting into its supply chains. It says it is the first in its field to secure this and that it leaves it well placed to meet the terms of the tougher European regulations.
“The proposed legislation will require first importers of sawn wood and veneer sheets and plywood to an EU member state to perform a due diligence process to reduce the risk that timber is not from an illegal source,” said a UCM statement. “While this due diligence process itself is not specified, in all likelihood it will recognise processes operated by the TTF.”
Once the EU legislation is passed, importers will have two years to comply.
“For our customers who are not themselves importers, it will be reassuring to know that they are purchasing not only from a company that is chain of custody certified, but whose due diligence process in the environmental arena is rubber stamped by the TTF on behalf of the European Commission,” said UCM.
Managing director Mark Plews said that the company “warmly welcomes” the EU’s illegal timber crackdown.
“And it is gratifying to be able to say that we are the first timber trader to have our purchaisng policy approved by the TTF in line with the requirements,” he said. “Our aim is to improve continually our environmental policy and procedures and to work with all stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees, governments and NGOs to achieve continuous improvement through our supply chain.”