UPDATE: Illegal Logging Legislation comes into effect 30 Nov.

31 October 2014

The Illegal Logging Prohibition Amendment comes into effect on 30 Nov. 2014

The Illegal Logging Prohibition Amendment Regulation 2013 is law and its requirements come into effect on 30 November 2014. From this date, importers of certain timber or timber products will need to assess and manage the risk that the timber has not been illegally logged. This is known as carrying out 'due diligence'. 

The regulated timber products are identified using customs tariff codes. The regulated products fit within Chapters 44, 47, 48 and 94 of the tariff codes and relate to specific wood products, pulp, paper and furniture products.

»      Import declaration – from 30 November 2014, importers (via their Customs Broker) will be required to answer a declaration at the time of import of each shipment about their compliance with the due diligence requirements of the Regulation.

On the following pages 3 and 4 is the “Illegal Logging Importer Declaration” statement that Transtar will require from you in order to answer YES to the question:

HAS THE IMPORTER COMPLIED WITH THE DUE DILIGENCE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ILLEGAL LOGGING PROHIBITION ACT 2012 AND ASSOCIATED REGULATIONS?

(A word version of this form can also be found on our web page at

http://www.transtar.net/customer-resources/downloads/australia/illegal-logging-resources

If you are an importer of regulated products can you please fill in this form and return to Transtar by the commencement of the regulation on 30 November 2014.

(The question whether or not an importer declares they have complied with the Regulation when their goods enter Australia, the goods will not be held up at the border as a result of no due diligence but this information will be gathered by the department for future education and compliance)

»      Education/compliance – for 18 months following commencement of the Regulation, the Department's focus will be on helping importers and domestic processors comply with the due diligence requirements. They won't be seeking to "catch out" those who are trying to do the right thing.

»      Breaches of the Act and Regulations will be taken seriously – if an importer knowingly or recklessly imports illegally logged timber or products, up to five years jail and/or heavy fines apply.

Essentially compliance with the regulation is the responsibility of importers of regulated timber and products.

Resources

Transtar is providing some resources in order to help clients comply with the requirements of the Act and Regulations. They can be found on our web page at http://www.transtar.net/customer-resources/downloads/australia/illegal-logging-resources

The resources available include:

»     Illegal Logging Due Diligence what timber products are regulated

»     Illegal Logging Importer Declaration

»     Illegal Logging Importer Flowchart

»     Illegal Logging Due Diligence System Guide

»     Illegal Logging Supplier Questionnaire

»     Illegal Logging Annex-2 Sample Legal Timber Purchasing Policy Statement

»     Illegal Logging Annex-5 Supplier Letter Template

»     Illegal Logging Annex 7 Importer Due Diligence – Overview

»     Supplier and Product Management Spreadsheet for Timber Due Diligence

The department has also prepared a range of education and guidance materials to help importers better understand their responsibilities under the illegal logging laws. These can be found on the Information for importers webpage http://www.agriculture.gov.au/forestry/policies/illegal-logging/information-resources

It is also highly recommended Subscribing to the illegal logging mailing list to stay informed of the release of any new information or guidance materials or any upcoming information events.

Illegal Logging Webinars: The Department will be working with Forest and Wood Products Australia to deliver an online ‘webinar’ information event for importers.

Webinar Session – Importers: Date:Monday, 10 November 2014 -  3.00 to 4.00pm (AEDT) Businesses should send an email to illegal logging to register their interest in participating in a webinar event.

As always if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us at Transtar.

Kind regards

Transtar Customs Team