Illegal Logging – Due Diligence Followup

EES Shipping Pty Ltd have sent out several circulars regarding the new Illegal Logging Legislation that is due to come into force on the 30th November 2014.  EES Management Team have been in constant communication with the Department of Agriculture along with the Customs Brokers and Forwarding  Council of Australia (CBFCA) to provide you with the most informative, up-to-date information on this important issue.  We have received a direct response from the Department of Agriculture and we pass this information on as follows:

As a customs broker, you are not directly regulated under the laws. However, from 30 November 2014, importers will need to make a declaration to Customs about their compliance with the due diligence requirements. This will be in the form of a community protection question as part of the import declaration process. The department recognises that where you are acting as an agent for an importer, you may make this declaration on their behalf as part of the existing import declaration process.  We understand that you are able to undertake these activities using established arrangements with your client.  As such you will not be required to obtain a statement from your client to answer the community protection question for each consignment.

Further information is available on the department’s website contains a range of information and fact sheets to help importers and brokers understand and comply with the illegal logging laws.  To stay up to date, the department has established a mailing list which you can subscribe to by visiting the website. The department is also planning to undertake information sessions in the lead up to the Illegal Logging Prohibition Amendment Regulations 2013 coming into force on 30 November 2014. Arrangements for these events are still being finalized. “

Under the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012, it is now a criminal offence to import illegally logged timber and timber products into Australia or to process domestically grown raw logs that have been illegally logged. This prohibition applies to all timber and timber products.

The new due diligence requirements that come into effect on 30 November 2014 relate to a more defined list of timber products. These are called ‘regulated timber products’ and are listed in Schedule 1 of the Regulation. This includes most timber and wood-based products such as sawn timber, veneer, mouldings, wood panels, plywood, pulp, paper and wooden furniture.

Even if a good is regulated, it will be outside the scope of the due diligence requirements if:

  • it has a combined customs value of less than AUD$1,000
  • it is made of recycled material.

On this basis, it is EES Shipping’s intention to obtain from you, our client, a statement placed on your letterhead confirming your “due diligence” requirements with your supplier/s.  We will hold this statement on our records. This statement will not be required to be completed for each individual shipment, however, it will be required for individual suppliers.

Click here for the TEMPLATE – Due diligence supplier listing.

If you have any questions or queries regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.

Kind Regards

Phil Gray

Customs Manager

EES Shipping Pty Ltd