Don't burden UK forestry industry with illegal logging rules, MEP urges

EU rules intended to block imports of illegally produced timber are a "pointless burden" to British forestry, a Conservative MEP has warned.

Image: HW
Image: HW

Currently the EU requires businesses marketing timber or timber products in the UK to carry out a due-diligence exercise to ensure these are legally harvested.

Anthea McIntyre MEP said: "Illegal logging has to be tackled - but not where it doesn't exist. The legislation may be well-intended as an environmental measure, but because it is over-prescriptive it has unintended consequences.

"We need to apply the regulation to third-country imports, but a blanket approach is not necessary given that the level of illegal logging within the EU is so infinitesimally small."

She called for "targeted activity, working with problem countries to strengthen their internal governance procedures, so that the vast majority of woodland owners across the EU are not burdened with unnecessary cost and pointless bureaucracy".

The West Midlands MEP issued the warning in Strasbourg during a debate on the European Union's Timber Regulation, which the EU Commission is proposing to review this year.

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