On 5th October, the European Commission (EC) formally adopted the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) Report 2017, the second biennial report on implementation since the regulation came into law in March 2013.
The second report covers the period March 2015 to February 2017 and is based on the reports from the 28 EU Member States and Norway.
According to the EC, the report “reveals steady progress after four years of its application. Almost all countries comply with the formal requirements of the EUTR. Over the reporting period, the number of checks made and sanctions applied for violation of the EUTR have significantly increased”.
However, the EC also notes that “continuous efforts are needed to ensure a uniform and effective application of the EUTR across countries. Uneven implementation can have potential implications in terms of both the effectiveness of legislation and a level playing field for market operators.
Further effort should be made to ensure that the scope and quality of the checks carried out reflect a more consistent approach across the EU”.
The EC intends to “continue to cooperate with the Member States on supplementing EUTR guidance to achieve a uniform application and facilitate its implementation by the operators” and will also “help approximate enforcement approaches between competent authorities and continue to explore additional tools to improve the EUTR implementation in cooperation with the Member States and relevant stakeholders”.