Illegal logging prohibition amendment regulation 2013 – Important


To all our valued customers

Important notification for all importers of timber products

As previously communicated via “BRi News” alerts, from November 30th, any business or person importing a “regulated timber product” (includes all timber furniture) into Australia will be required to have carried out due diligence prior to import. This essentially requires the importer to gather information, assess the risk that the timber product they are importing may have been illegally logged and, if the risk is not low, undertake reasonable steps to mitigate any risk.

This effectively means that we, as your customs broker, will be required under the Illegal Logging Prohibition Amendment Regulation 2013, to answer a question on your behalf at the time of customs entry lodgement declaring whether you have carried out your due diligence requirements with all suppliers of timber products. Whether we answer “Yes” or “No” will not affect the clearance of consignments however a “no” answer will result in DAFF contacting you enquiring why you have not yet carried out your due diligence.

Due diligence is a four step process:

  1. An importer must obtain information about the timber or timber product they intend to import;
  2. Optional – An importer can identify and assess risk against a Timber Legality Framework or a Country Specific Guideline (if available);
  3. Where an importer has not used Step 2, or where they have used the Step 2 process but they have identified a risk that the timber is illegally logged and the risk is other than low, an importer must undertake a risk assessment; and
  4. Where an importer has, during Step 3, identified that there is a risk that the timber was illegally logged and the risk was not low, an importer must mitigate the risk in accordance with the regulation.

This due diligence will involve importer’s liaising with their suppliers and gaining written assurances that the manufacturer of the imported products sources all timber from legally licensed timber harvesters. Penalties will apply where random inspections reveal products with illegally harvested timber.

Although we are awaiting further information from DAFF we would like to direct affected importers to the following link which appears helpful, particularly the “due diligence” section :-

BRi have been in contact with DAFF in an attempt to obtain any templates which may be used to complete importer’s due diligence. DAFF responded that, to maintain flexibility, and in light of the large number of businesses that are regulated, they will not be endorsing individual documents or accrediting individual due diligence systems. This essentially means it is up to the importer as to how they conduct their due diligence.

BRi have also taken the initiative to contact the “Timber Development Association” who has actually created templates covering due diligence formalities. Should you require assistance please contact BRi and we would be happy to forward such templates for your perusal.

Please also take note that the Australian Timber Association is holding full day training seminars, specifically created for importers, during October at the following locations:-

Wednesday 8 October 2014 – 9am to 4.30 pm
Engineering House, 21 Bedford Street, North Melbourne

Friday 10 October 2014 – 9am to 4.30 pm
Technology Park Function Centre, 2 Brodie Hall Drive, Bentley

Tuesday 14 October 2014 – 9am to 4.30 pm
The Greek Club, 9 Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane

Thursday 16 October 2014 – 9am to 4.30 pm
Dooleys Waterview, Cnr. of Clyde Street and Silverwater Road, Silverwater

These seminars will be suitable for importers seeking comprehensive information on the upcoming changes. Further to this, DAFF intend to conduct seminars during October for Customs brokers. BRi will be attending and would expect to gain further information which will be shared with our customers.

Please feel free to contact your BRi customs broker should you have further queries in relation to this matter.

This entry was posted in Public News on by Aaron Poole.

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