In the event of no deal, firms will need to follow different processes for trading timber and timber products. The UK will have its own law for trading timber, which will mirror existing EU rules. Full guidance published by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs can be accessed here.
Importing from the EU/EEA
From 29 March, firms will need to show that imports from the EU and EEA have been legally harvested; which is already required when timber is imported from non-EU and EEA countries. This will require firms to:
- gather information on the timber – its species, quantity, supplier, country of harvest and how it complies with relevant laws;
- assess the risk of timber being illegal by applying the legal criteria; and
- mitigate any identified risk through obtaining more information or taking action to confirm that the timber is legal.
If the timber has an import permit under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), then the UK will recognise this has been legally harvested.
Exporting to the EU/EEA
If you’re exporting timber to the EU or EEA, you may need to supply documentation about the source and legality of your timber. This is so EU and EEA-based customers can meet the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) due diligence rules. Due diligence systems will vary business by business.
You will not need to take any additional action at the border because of Brexit.
The UK will still recognise monitoring organisations based in the UK. These are independent bodies which carry out due diligence on timber. They’ll still support UK timber standards. The UK will not automatically recognise EU or EEA monitoring organisations if there’s no deal. The EU has indicated it will no longer recognise monitoring organisations based in the UK if there’s no deal.