Thursday, 7 March 2013

Questions (209)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

209. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the way EU Reg 995/2010 (details supplied) will be enforced here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12106/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The new EU Timber Regulation (EUTR – Regulation (EU) No 995/2010) is now in effect. It is part of a package of measures aimed at ensuring that all products containing wood placed on the market in the EU are from legally harvested timber. It applies to wood and wood products being placed for the first time on the EU market. It counters the trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products by imposing three key obligations:

- Placing illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber on the EU market, for the first time, is prohibited.

- EU operators – those who place timber products on the EU market for the first time – are required to exercise ‘due diligence’.

- Traders - those who buy or sell timber and timber products already on the market – are required to keep information about their suppliers and customers to make timber easily traceable.

My Department is currently drafting the appropriate legislation that will oversee and enforce these rules in Ireland. I can assure the Deputy that my Department will lay out effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties, where appropriate, to ensure compliance. Official checks will also be carried out which may include visits to premises to monitor and audit material. It is expected, however, that for the vast majority of those affected, this regulation will involve the reaffirmation of their current business practice. It will require them to ensure that their paper trail is in a format which can be checked to verify compliance. The key change this regulation will bring about is to impose a greater responsibility on those placing timber on the market to ensure that their products have been legally harvested.