Further to our previous announcements, the Illegal Logging Prohibition Amendment Regulation 2013 is law and its requirements came into effect on 30th November 2014.
From this date, importers of certain timber or timber products (as defined in the Regulation) need to assess and manage the risk that the timber has been illegally logged.
Importer obligations to carry out due diligence
Under the illegal logging laws, businesses importing regulated timber products into Australia will have to carry out due diligence on these products before import. These products include wooden articles and certain paper / paperboard products.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) has released further Information, fact sheets, guidance and news on the progress of Country & State Specific Guidelines, with the full effect of the regulations taking force this year.
Australian Government Compliance Actions
DAWR has been assessing how businesses are complying with the regulatory requirements.
They have initially assessed businesses that are importing large amounts of regulated timber, paper or wooden furniture products and are now assessing businesses that have volunteered for a compliance assessment as a "health check" of their due diligence practices.
Importers may now receive letters of Request For Information from DAWR, which will require evidence that Due Diligence has been done when identifying the use or non-use of illegally logged timber.
Should you receive any such request, or need to discuss further on your responsibilities, please contact please contact us.