EU Timber Regulation and FLEGT license scheme to tackle illegal timber

In 2003, the European Union initiated an action plan with the purpose to fight illegal logging and illegal trade of wooden products. This action plan is called EU FLEGT Action Plan. The Action Plan has several instruments of which the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and the FLEGT licence scheme are some of the most significant ones.

It is prohibited to place illegally harvested timber or timber products derived from such timber on the market. Illegal timber means timber harvested or sold in violation of the national legislation in the country of origin. The illegal activities may involve, for example, illegal felling, tax fraud or counterfeiting customs documents.

Illegal harvesting is a significant and growing global problem. It has serious impacts on deforestation, climate change and biodiversity loss worldwide. In addition, it weakens the competitive position of operators who follow the law both in the exporting and importing countries and causes significant loss of revenue to the states.

It is an impediment to sustainable development in developing countries and even contributes to financing armed conflicts, and it may also involve serious human rights violations.

Each EU state appoints a competent authority to control compliance with the regulation. The Finnish Food Authority has been appointed the competent Finnish authority in the execution of the timber regulation (EU 995/2010).

In the Åland Islands, the competent authority is the Government of Åland.

The Act on the Placing on the Market of Timber and Timber Products (897/2013) lays down the sanctions for breaking the law.

Further information:

Marko Lehtosalo

Senior inspector

Finnish Food Authority / Marketing department

Opastinsilta 12 B, floor 2, FI-00520 Helsinki

Tel. +358 (0)295 204 608, +358 (0)40 189 1891

E-mail: firstname.lastname@ruokavirasto.fi

 

Shingo Masuda

Forest expert

Finnish Food Authority / Marketing department

Opastinsilta 12 B, floor 2, FI-00520 Helsinki

Tel. +358 (0)295 204 678, +358 (0)50 435 3063

E-mail: firstname.lastname@ruokavirasto.fi