Australia - Illegal logging legislation welcomed
A3P has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, that the Gillard Government will introduce legislation restricting the importation and sale of illegally logged timber.A3P CEO Richard Stanton said “we are gratified that the Government has listened to and supported our view that the new rules should apply to all timber products including sawn timber, wood panels, pulp, paper, wooden furniture and composite products. Today’s announcement is a positive step forward. However, the detail of how the legislation will operate will be fundamental to its success.”
Following consultation on an exposure draft bill, new legislation to introduce the policy will be considered by the Australian Parliament. The restriction on the importation and sale of illegal timber will come into force when the legislation commences.
In addition, there will be a requirement on timber suppliers who first place timber products onto the Australian market to undertake a due diligence process to verify the legal origins of the timber products and to disclose species, country of harvest and any certification. These timber suppliers include timber importers and domestic wood processing mills.
Industry will be given up to two years following the commencement of legislation to establish their due diligence systems. These due diligence systems will need to be incorporated within an industry developed, Commonwealth accredited, code of conduct.