European Commission reports on EUTR progress
The European Commission has released the second report on the implementation of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR), covering the period March 2015 to February 2017. The report reveals steady progress after four years of EUTR application. It is based on the reports from the 28 EU Member States and Norway.
The report details how the EUTR is being implemented across the EU and in the European Economic Area. It indicates that almost all countries comply with the formal requirements of the EUTR. The report also finds that the number of checks made and sanctions applied for violations of the EUTR has significantly increased.
Nonetheless, it calls for ‘continuous efforts’ to ensure ‘a uniform and effective application of the EUTR across countries.’ The report warns that uneven implementation of the EUTR can have ‘potential implications in terms of both the effectiveness of legislation and a level playing field for market operators.’ It stresses the need for increasing the number of checks in some countries to ensure a ‘truly dissuasive effect across the industry’. The report also stresses the importance of ensuring more consistency across the EU in ‘the scope and quality of the checks carried out’.
The report features a section on the progress made in respect to the Voluntary Partnership Agreements on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) and their contribution to minimising the presence of illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market.
The publication of the EUTR Implementation Report is supplemented by a ‘Background analysis of the 2015-2017 national biennial reports on the implementation of the EUTR’, as well as the reports of all the EU Member States and Norway.