UK Chinese plywood importers facing EUTR sanctions17 February 2015
A number of UK Chinese plywood importers are facing sanctions under the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) after an official investigation found failings in due diligence systems and product descriptions.
EUTR enforcement body the National Measurement Office's (NMO) Chinese plywood enforcement project - focusing on plywood manufactured in China and placed on the market in the UK - identified 16 companies defined as "operators" under the regulations.
Of these, 14 companies submitted "insufficient" due diligence systems, mainly due to a lack of narrative explaining how the combination of document gathering, risk assessment and mitigation enabled them to conclude a negligible risk of illegal timber sourcing.
The NMO also purchased products from the companies and subjected them to microscopic analysis. Of the 13 purchases tested, nine did not match the declaration supplied by each company regarding timber species used.
"In all, only one company was found to be compliant with the EUTR as a result of testing and submission of their due diligence system," the NMO said.
"The NMO continues to investigate the remaining cases. Various sanctions will be applied to the companies in question, including the possibility of prosecution based on non-compliance with a Notice of Remedial Action."