The EU, USA and Australia have all developed laws to restrict the access of illegally harvested timber to their markets. While the mechanisms of these laws differ, there are some important similarities. In each law, timber is considered illegal if relevant laws in the country of harvest have been breached. Each law encourages the regulated party to take active steps to consider the origin of the timber or timber product and assess the risk that the timber has been logged illegally. The EU and Australian laws contain a ‘due diligence’ obligation and the Lacey Act considers whether ‘due care’ was taken while applying penalties.

The USA was the first to pass an illegal logging law in 2008, by amending the Lacey Act. The Lacey Act Amendments added plants and plant products such as timber and paper to the law. In the EU, the EUTR came into effect on 3 March 2013 and in Australia, the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act took full effect in November 2014.

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Published May 9, 2016
Found in EUTRForestsIllegal LoggingTrade