Forestry Update UK Timber Regulations
Trading timber? Prepare for the new rules that will apply to buying and selling timber and timber products from 1 January 2021.
The European Timber Regulation (EUTR) and Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) will no longer apply in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) from 1 January 2021.
Instead, the UK Timber Regulation (UKTR) and UK FLEGT will apply in Great Britain from 1 January 2021. This means timber importers bringing wood in from EU countries will become ‘Operators’ (instead of their current status as ‘Traders’).
Under UKTR, businesses importing into the UK from anywhere in the world, including the EU/EEA, will need to carry out due diligence confirming that timber products placed on the GB market have been legally harvested to ensure there is negligible risk of illegally-harvested timber entering the supply chain. Imports to Northern Ireland will still be subject to EUTR.
Businesses exporting to the EU/EEA from the UK and when placing timber on the Northern Ireland market from the UK will need to supply information and documentation about the source and legality of their timber products to meet due diligence requirements in the EU Timber Regulation.
How will duty rates be determined with the UK Global Tariff after 1 January 2021?
From 1 January 2021, unless there is a free trade agreement in place, or it is a developing country under the UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), the UK will trade with the country as laid out in the UK Global Tariff scheme.
Most wood products (154 codes of 200 codes) are duty free. For the other products (46 out of 200 codes), No Deal means UK Global Tariff rates will be imposed on all EU trade and all goods from outside of the EU.
Key products set to be affected by the UK Global Tariff include wood-based panels. As part of preparing for 1 January 2021 you should familiarise yourself with the customs codes and any potential duty that will apply. It is important to remember that duty payable will be determined by the Country of Origin of the product, not the Country of Import.