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Promoting the trade in legally harvested timber
Illegal logging is a significant problem in many countries. It degrades forest environments, reduces biodiversity, undermines government regimes and revenues, contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and deprives local communities of opportunities to improve their quality of life.
The Australian Government is committed to combating such destructive activities while also supporting the trade in legally harvested timber and timber products.
The law has changed
Legislation designed to promote the trade in legally logged timber and timber products is now law. If you are a business importing timber or timber products into Australia or processing domestically grown raw logs you need to be aware of your new responsibilities.
A summary of the key elements of the illegal logging laws is set out below.
Source: Illegal logging Prohibition Act 2012
Commences: Already in place. Came into effect in November 2012.
Key elements: Makes it a criminal offence to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly import or process illegally logged timber or timber products.
Affects: Businesses importing any timber or timber products into Australia and processors of domestically grown raw logs.
Source: Illegal Logging Prohibition Amendment Regulation 2013
Commences: In future. Will come into effect on 30 November 2014.
Key elements: Businesses need to assess and manage the risk that the timber they are importing for processing has been illegally logged. Known as carrying out due diligence.
Affects: Businesses importing certain timber or timber products (as defined in the regulation) into Australia and processors of domestically grown raw logs.
Where can I find more information about these changes?
Although the new requirements are not designed to be a significant burden, we recognise that some affected businesses will need additional information and guidance to adjust to their new responsibilities.
This website contains a range of information to help businesses make this transition.
- Why is the law changing?
- What do the new laws do?
- Information for importers
- Information for processors
- Information for customs brokers
- Information for businesses exporting to Australia
- Frequently asked questions
- Further information and resources
How can I stay informed?
The Department of Agriculture is here to help you comply with the illegal logging laws.
We are working with industry organisations to develop a range of education and guidance materials. This information will be provided here, as it becomes available.
You can also access additional information by:
- Reading the information provided on our Frequently asked questions and further information and resources webpages.
- 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.
- Emailing the department with a question related to the illegal logging laws. The department will consider your question and get back to you with a detailed response within 10 working days.
- Calling the department during business hours (8.30am to 5.30pm) on 1800 657 313 or if outside of Australia +61 2 6272 3933.
The department is interested in identifying further opportunities for informing businesses of their new responsibilities. If you have an event or meeting coming up that you think would provide a good forum for the distribution of such information, please email us at illegal logging.
20 Jun 2014