Controversy Over Illegal Logging Crackdown
Illegal logging is a pressing issue that has serious consequences for the environment and the economy. The Australian Furniture Association (AFA) recently joined allied industry representatives at a meeting with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s to discuss actions related to interpreting the illegal logging regulation and issuing infringement notices. The actions were perceived as aggressive and disproportionate. The industries’ concerns and suggestions for improvement have been tabled in a paper to the Department for review.
A Notice from the department issued on 3rd March 2023:
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has fined 14 furniture importers over $186,000 last week who allegedly didn’t act to minimise the risk of importing illegally harvested timber.
Head of Compliance and Enforcement at the department, Peter Timson said Australia has strict requirements for importing timber and it is essential to hold importers to account.
“We are enforcing our powers to help combat illegal logging which has been linked to organised crime, civil unrest, corruption, species extinction and environmental destruction around the world,” Mr Timson said.
What has the AFA done to assist it’s members?
As members of the Australian Furniture Association, it is essential to understand the issue of illegal logging and to take action if necessary. The Australian Furniture Association (AFA) supports the concerns raised by the industry representatives. We understand the impact that illegal logging can have on the furniture industry and are committed to working collaboratively with the Department to find solutions.
The current act had a sunsetting clause which concluded on the 1st April 2023, The Governor General has extended the act for two years with a view to reform the act over this period. The AFA will issue updates to members accordingly.
If you have any concerns regarding the illegal logging due diligence or have had contact from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry compliance team, please reach out to the AFA for support and assistance. Our team is available to provide guidance, advocate on behalf of the industry, and work collaboratively with key stakeholders to achieve better outcomes.
In addition, the AFA encourage members to implement due diligence systems to manage the risk of sourcing timber products from illegal logging practices and to ensure compliance with the illegal logging regulations. By doing so, we can ensure that our industry operates in a sustainable and responsible manner.
For more information read the following supportive articles: