Smith Welcomes EU Landmark Deal To Ban Illegally Logged Timber

17 June 2010

SNP Member of the European Parliament, Alyn Smith has today welcomed the news that the sale of illegal timber will be banned across the EU in 2012.  Products manufactured from wood such as furniture, floorboards and casks are covered by the new legislation, with Scottish firms now required to perform due diligence and carry out risk assessments of wood products where illegal practice is suspected.

The new rules were agreed yesterday (Wednesday) by negotiators from the European Parliament, the Spanish EU presidency and the EU's executive European Commission, and must still be rubber-stamped by EU governments and full parliament before they enter force in late 2012.

Alyn Smith said:

“This announcement comes not a moment too soon and follows almost a decade of hard campaigning on the issue by environmentalists groups.

“Between 20 percent and 40 percent of the world's wood production is thought to come from illegal sources. I hope this legislation effectively makes illegal trafficking and forest destruction a thing of the past. Tackling illegal logging is a good starting point to tackling climate change since deforestation accounts for nearly a fifth of the global total emissions.

“It is disappointing that printed materials such as books are exempt for five years, however it is very much a positive step in the right direction and warmly welcomed by myself and my EFA colleagues who have campaigned so hard.”