Following the recent UN resolution, the PEFC Council Board of Directors has issued a statement today clarifying that all timber originating from Russia and Belarus as ‘conflict timber’ and therefore cannot be used in PEFC-certified products.
The international sanctions continue with current updates sourced from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE).
DAWE are also planning to notify subscribers of their illegal logging mailing list this week of the announcement by PEFC International (see attached PEFC statement) and encourage them to carefully examine their supply chains before importing timber from these regions.
Importing timber from Russia and Belarus and the pathways to facilitate this process.
- Timber from Russia and Belarus will not be banned from import into Australia.
- Under the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 and associated Regulation, importers are required to undertake due diligence on regulated timber products ahead of importation.
- As part of this process, a structured risk assessment must be conducted. The laws provide three methods to do this: the Timber Legality Framework method, the Country Specific Guideline (CSG) method, and the Regulated Risk Factors method.
- The Timber Legality Framework recognises PEFC and FSC certified products and that the schemes provide rigorous forest management and chain of custody standards that consider risks of illegally logged timber.
- As PEFC International issued a statement clarifying all timber originating from Russia and Belarus cannot be used in PEFC-certified products, the Timber Legality Framework can no longer be used.
- The CSG method cannot be used as there are no CSGs in place for Russia or Belarus.
- Importers importing regulated products from Russia and Belarus may still use the Regulated Risk Factors method.
- This method requires the importer to answer five questions, one of these being “is there, or has there recently been, armed conflict in the area of harvest?”. If the answer is ‘yes’ additional risk mitigation steps need to be taken to reduce the risk of the regulated products being from illegal logged sources.
- Get your due diligence toolkit HERE.
- Further information on the due diligence requirements can be found at: https://www.awe.gov.au/agriculture-land/forestry/policies/illegal-logging/importers/due-diligence.
Implications of the PEFC ruling on timber that had been exported from Russia and Belarus, prior to the 4 March statement.
- Under the Illegal logging prohibition laws, a due diligence assessment must be completed before a regulated timber product is imported into Australia. Get your due diligence toolkit HERE
- While legal advice may be needed to confirm this, DAWE’s view is that timber from Russia and Belarus, certified under PEFC and exported prior to the 4 March announcement can still be imported into Australia without impact. This is assuming all the due diligence requirements under the illegal logging laws, as well as any other relevant requirements under other laws, have been met.