Certification of tropical timber imports
Illegal logging is a significant cause of deforestation and biodiversity loss. It also aggravates climate change. Furthermore, revenue from sales of illegally logged timber is used to finance civil wars in many parts of the world.
Being a major importer of timber, the EU has a special responsibility to make sure that its timber imports do not stem from problematic sources.
With this in mind, the Commission drew up a proposal for minimising the risk of illegally logged timber being imported into the EU.
The key measure proposed by the Commission is a due diligence system imposing certain obligations on those operators who first place timber on the EU market. The Commission does not plan to ban imports of illegal timber.
What was the Greens' position?
The Greens argued that the Commission's proposal was too weak to actually guarantee that timber sold in the EU is legally logged.
We demanded that illegally logged timber be effectively prohibited from entering the EU.
We also called for a traceability requirement along the entire supply chain, stronger penalties (including criminal sanctions) and a central register for all authorising organisations and agencies, so that possible violations of EU rules could be more easily identified.
Moreover, we believe it would be politically consistent if the scope of the Regulation was expanded to include not only the immediate circumstances of logging, but also provisions on biodiversity and forest management.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
Together with a majority in Parliament, the Greens succeeded in making the Commission and Council accept that a ban on illegally logged timber is a necessary consequence of recognising that the timber in question was illegally sourced.
We also introduced a better traceability system, proposed a tougher penalty system, and managed to ensure that monitoring organisations are listed in a central EU register and that the legislation containing provisions on biodiversity and forest management also applies.
Which points did the Greens lose?
The Greens were unable to incorporate the present legislation into the framework of the Environmental Crime Directive.
Had that been achieved, the marketing of illegally logged timber would have been punishable as a crime.
Procedure:Ordinary legislative procedure
Lead MEP:Satu Hassi (GREENS/EFA)
Green MEP responsible:Satu Hassi
Staff contact:Terhi Lehtonen (Email)
Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?