EU Timber Regulations

What the regulations mean

These regulations came into force on 3rd March 2013.  In order to try and prohibit the trade in illegal timber, these regulations oblige organisations or individuals who place timber and timber products on the market to assure that the timber they are trading originates from legal sources.  It is now a crime to place illegal timber on EU markets and everyone affected by the regulation must adopt practices to assure that they trade and supply legal timber.

What you have to do

In addition to those who trade in timber or timber products already placed on the EU market, the regulations apply to whoever first places cut timber on the EU market and this person or organisation is referred to in the regulations as the ‘operator’. This might apply to landowners who have applied for a felling licence and who may be considering directly selling their timber.

You can get details of who is affected on the EU website.

Operators are required to implement a “due diligence” system, which means that they must carry out a management exercise so as to minimise the risk of placing illegally harvested timber, or timber products containing illegally harvested timber, on the EU market.

Due diligence means that you must provide a description of the product, name of supplier, country where it was harvested and confirm that you have complied with appropriate forestry legislation. You must also give information about the tree species and approximate volume being harvested. In addition you must assess the risk that the timber may have been illegally harvested and provide evidence this risk is negligible.

You must list all main species (those that occupy more than 20% of the area to be felled), otherwise you can use the abbreviations MB (Mixed Broadleaves) or MC (Mixed Conifers).

Find out more details of the regulation and download a “Guidance Document on the EU Timber regulation”.

How we can help

Felling Licences: We will automatically issue you with a Due Diligence for UK Grown Timber form (PDF) with your approved felling licence. If you are directly placing your timber on the market for the first time, all you need to do is sign the declaration on the form. Your felling licence will itself give details of the species being felled. These are all the documents that you need to meet the due diligence requirements should you require to.

Forest Plans felling licences

Similarly, felling authorised under a Forest Plan is also covered with this EU regulation.

Statutory Plant Health Notices

Timber that is being felled as required by an SPHN is also covered by these regulations.

Who needs to have this form?

The person who needs to have this form is the person who directly places the timber on the market.

If you sell the trees standing then the regulations do not apply to you. 

If the agent or company receiving the approved felling licence is only felling the timber but not directly placing it on the market then they must pass on the form and a copy of the felling licence to the agent or company who are doing so.

Forest Plans: If you are felling trees with permission under a Forest Plan we will give you a copy of the form with your Plan or you can download a copy.

Inspecting the process

The National Measurement Office has been designated as the “Competent Authority” under these regulations and their staff will be carrying out checks that operators are complying with these regulations.