Illegal Logging Update - End of the "Soft-Start" Compliance Period - Reminder
Dear Valued Client
BR International wishes to remind importers of timber sourced products ( including paper ) that the “soft start” compliance approach to the Illegal Logging Scheme will cease to apply from December 31st, 2017.
This means the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources ( DAWR ), who are responsible for managing and monitoring this scheme, could potentially impose penalties on importers who have not yet completed their due diligence requirements under the Illegal Logging Scheme. Until now, the DAWR have been working work with, rather than against, industry whilst carrying out audits to check the due diligence processes of relevant importers. Whilst this process will continue, from January 1st 2018 those timber product importers who have not completed their due diligence ( or their due diligence has expired ) could potentially face penalties of up to $ 63,000. In light of this we suggest addressing this area of your business as a declaration must be made at the time of customs clearance stating your due diligence is not current.
BR International stresses that there will be no clearance holds as a result of the Illegal Logging Scheme. Any DAWR compliance assessments will be made post importation.
Please be aware that DAWR have a “voluntary assessment” avenue available where importers may request that an assessment be made by the DAWR to ensure their 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.
For those wishing to carry out their due diligence, 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.
Alternatively, all compliance documents are available on the DAWR’s website - www.agriculture.gov.au/forestry/policies/illegal-logging/compliance
Once again, please feel free to make contact with your BRi representative should you wish to enquire further.
Keeping you updated, BRi Customs Team
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