BR International feel it is timely that we update you in relation to the Illegal Logging Prohibition Amendment Regulation 2013. You would be aware that importers of products containing timber material have been required, since November 2014, to have a written due diligence system in place. This system assesses whether any imported products are sourced from illegally logged timber. You may also be aware that DAFF(Department of Agriculture and Fisheries ) are enforcing this scheme and agreed to work with, rather than against, industry for the initial 18 months and carry out audits to check the due diligence processes which are in place.
DAFF commenced assessing how businesses are complying with the regulatory requirements since March 2015. Some of our clients have already been approached and asked to provide evidence of their due diligence system. DAFF are initially focussing on businesses that are importing large amounts of regulated timber, paper or wooden furniture products. They are providing feedback to importers about where their due diligence practices meet the requirements and where improvements are required to comply in future.
Please note that DAFF will not be issuing any penalties if an importer’s due diligence practices are not compliant until May 2016. Having said that, if you are an importer of timber-sourced products it is important to ensure that your processes are in place and your due diligence practices are compliant to ensure you are not exposed to penalties once they are enforced. DAFF have opened up a “voluntary assessment” avenue for importers where you can request that an assessment be made prior to May 2016 to ensure your practices are in place and compliant. Please make contact with your BRi customer service representative or customs broker should you wish to follow this path.
Alternatively, BRi are happy to assist any client who feels they may not be meeting the requirements of this scheme. We can provide advice or a “package” with document templates which may be sent to your suppliers to ensure the timber used in your imported products complies with the scheme. Once again, please feel free to make contact with your BRi representative should you wish to enquire further.