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EU Timber Regulation: Europe’s private forest owners concerned about red tape
This is one of the key findings of a non-representative survey on the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) conducted by CEPF among its members.
11.05.2015

Following introduction of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) two years ago and its current review by the European Commission, the Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF) carried out a survey among its members, with the scope to gather input on the experiences, expectations and views regarding the implementation process from a private forest owners’ perspective. The aim of this study is to stimulate the discussions within CEPF and to provide input to the current discussions at EU level.

The synthesis report entails the outcome of an online-based questionnaire which includes the responses of fourteen CEPF members and was conducted between October and November 2014. Even though Europe’s private forest owners are not the main concern of the EUTR, the results of the survey indicate that the EUTR may have some impact on their activities, requiring further consideration and actions.

Overall, the respondents expect that the Regulation brings an increase in bureaucracy and administrative costs for forest owners when selling timber, while not leading to the desirable positive effects on the sales and value of domestic timber. In addition, the role and awareness of forest owners and their preparedness to comply with their new obligations has also emerged as a key concern, highlighted together with the need for further support, information and simplification of the processes.

Further, the results show that the competent authorities enforce the EUTR to a varying extent and intensity, causing a great level of incoherency and inconsistency. Only in few cases the checks on operators to investigate possible non-compliance have started. This demonstrates that in many EU Member States the EUTR is still at an early stage of implementation.

Full CEPF synthesis report can be found below.

In this context, the CEPF Secretariat also highlights the currently ongoing public consultation on the evaluation of the EUTR two years after its entry into application. Until 3 July 2015 all stakeholders inside and outside of the European Union are encouraged to contribute via an online questionnaire. By virtue of Article 20 of the EUTR, the European Commission is obliged to conduct a review of the EUTR. This entails an assessment of the functioning and effectiveness of the Regulation, including in preventing illegally harvested timber or timber products derived from such timber being placed on the market. In particular, the Commission review aims to consider the administrative consequences for small and medium-sized enterprises and product coverage.

For the EU Commission public consultation, please refer to

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations/eutr_en.htm