“A recent study by PROFOREST (on behalf of the European Timber Trade Federation) confirms that PEFC’s system will support to demonstrate full compliance with applicable legislation as required by the EUTR by March 2013” according to Mr. Ben Gunneberg, PEFC Secretary General. One would expect that the EUTR will acknowledge the above and allow any PEFC products to comply automatically and, in that matter of fact, also FSC certified products by regretfully that is not the case.
The EUTR is a part of European Legislation but none of the EU members will be involved in auditing of any existing (voluntary) 3rd party certification systems. The EU Timber Regulation says that these systems “can be used as a tool in the risk assessment and risk mitigation process” however these systems “are not an evidence of legality and do not absolve operators from the obligation to collect all the information and assess all risk mitigation factors as required by the EUTR”. So only FLEGT licensed timber (originating from a country that signed the VPA with the EU) will be accepted as proof of legality.
Seems to me the EU is trying to re-invent the wheel by creating a completely new system (FLEGT) and disregarding well established programs such as PEFC and FSC. I fully support the new legislation to stop the trade of illegal timber but at the same wonder why the EU cannot make use of the existing (well proven) programs.