Who does this notice affect?
The illegal logging legislation affect businesses that import regulated timber and timber products of specific Customs tariff codes within Chapters 44 (wood and wood articles), 47 (pulp), 48 (paper and paperboard) and 94 (furniture) into Australia.
What has changed?
The due diligence requirements of the Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012 came into effect on 30 November 2014. Importers of regulated timber or timber products need to assess and manage the risk that the timber in the product has been illegally logged before importing it.
The Department of Agriculture (the department) has begun contacting a variety of businesses importing a range of regulated timber products to request information about their due diligence systems. This represents a ‘dry run’ of the department’s due diligence compliance arrangements.
Contacted businesses will receive a ‘request for information’ package. This will ask the businesses to provide information about their due diligence practices and to provide supporting documentation. The department will provide feedback to businesses about whether their due diligence systems meet the requirements under the regulation and where improvements may be needed to comply with the requirements in the future.
The department has committed to a ‘soft start’ until May 2016 that focuses on educating businesses on how to comply. The department is not trying to catch out businesses who are trying to do the right thing and will not take any actions or issue any sanctions under the regulations as a result of this assessment. As the department builds an understanding of common issues and solutions, it will publish information to share with industry.
You can direct any questions about the compliance assessment process to ILCA or by phoning the department on 1800 657 313. The department’s website contains information to help importers understand and comply with the illegal logging laws.
The department has established a mailing list where you can subscribe to keep up to date on new developments with the illegal logging laws.
Source: The Department of Agriculture