The EUTR: A Worktop Express® Nutshell Guide
Here at Worktop Express®, we’re dedicated to both providing fine quality, sustainable timbers and instilling confidence in our loyal customers. We want you to feel free to enjoy the products you have purchased; confident that you are purchasing responsibly and in adherence to the latest guidelines.
The EU Timber Regulation – banning illegal timber in the EU – was effected in March 2013. What does this actually mean, though (and not just for the suppliers of timber products, but also our customers)? Read on to find out more…
What is the EUTR?
The EUTR is a legislation that requires companies marketing wood products to ‘assess the risk that those products may have come from an illegal source and act to mitigate any identified risks’. This means that:
Owners and suppliers must take responsibility – it’s not enough for parties trading in timber to simply shrug and say, ‘oh, well, I thought this wood was sustainably sourced – that’s what I was told’ and leave it at that. The EUTR demands that those who first place timber on the market (businesses or individuals known as ‘operators’) exercise due diligence to ensure that their products do not contain timber that has been illegally harvested. This need for responsibility continues down the chain, too: suppliers – like Worktop Express® are required to retain records of the operators they have bought timber from for a five year period.
Illegal timber can be easily identified – a perk of keeping such stringent records means that the enforcing agent can trace illegal products down the supply chain and remove them from the market.
The importance of lawful harvesting can be reinforced – lawful harvesting means more than simply having permission to fell timber. There are many considerations at play and many guidelines to adhere to – such as those concerning replanting requirements involved and employment practices to uphold (some operators would not pay employees fairly, for example, or pay tax on the timber products they sell).
However, the customer must still be mindful – the EUTR is legislature but not a licensing system. Businesses do not need to prove that they adhere to these guidelines in order to trade – only if challenged – meaning that the customer must be more certain than ever that he/she is purchasing from a legal and responsible source.
Worktop Express: A Safe Choice
Fortunately for our customers, there are no gaps in our knowledge – EUTR or no EUTR, we have demanded a clear chain of custody from our suppliers since we began trading. We also maintain close and honest relationships with our suppliers, regularly conducting site visits in the UK and abroad.
The EUTR demands only that the trader keep records of who timber products have been bought from and timber products sold to; it does not necessitate that a trader should be able to trace individual consignment back to the forest it was purchased from – but we can.
Worktop Express® are committed to the protection of timber not out of necessity but conviction: we truly believe that these are wonderful, natural materials that deserve safeguarding. Only then can commercial logging be both sustainable and economically beneficial.
We encourage customers to enjoy the benefits of responsibly sourced wood, safe in the knowledge that there are plenty of reputable suppliers out there – Worktop Express® is proud to be counted among them – and thanks to the EUTR there will soon be more. Please do give yourself peace of mind by checking the environmental policy of your chosen supplier, and if you are ever in any doubt, be sure to ask the tricky questions: a reputable supplier will be only to happy to help. To that end, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information on any aspect of the Worktop Express® service.