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Due Diligence Responsibilities for Operators

The due diligence systems now legally required of EU importers (or operators) are intended to minimise the risk that products they place on the EU market contain illegally harvested timber.

Sources of additional information
The responsibilities of importers or operators are:

Availability of information

  • Description of the type of product and species of the wood used (trade and common name and, where applicable, the full scientific name).
  • Country of harvest, and where applicable; sub-national region where timber was harvested and concession of harvest.
  • Quantity (expressed in volume, weight or number of units).
  • Name and address of the supplier to the operator.
  • Name and address of the trader to whom the timber or timber products have been supplied.
  • Documents or any information indicating compliance of those timber and timber products with the applicable legislation.

Risk assessment

  • This enables operators to analyse and evaluate the risk of illegally harvested timber in their products.
  • It takes into account the information provided in the access information section as well as relevant risk assessment criteria, including:
    • Assurance of compliance with applicable legislation, which may include certification or other third-party verified schemes which cover compliance with applicable legislation.
    • Prevalence of illegal harvesting of specific tree species.
    • Prevalence of illegal harvesting or practices in the country of harvest and/or sub-national region where the timber was harvested, including consideration of the prevalence of armed conflict.
    • Sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council or the Council of the European Union on timber imports or exports, complexity of the supply chain of timber and timber products.

Mitigation of the risk identified

  • This involves having in place a set of measures and procedures that are adequate and proportionate to minimise risks and may include additional information or documents and/or requiring third-party verification.

Operators can either use existing systems, set up their own systems or make use of the system from a monitoring organisation.  A list of approved monitoring organisations is available on the European Commission (EC) website, including the countries they can operate in.

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