ATIBT- EUTR and due diligence

 

 

 

Interview with Eric Boilley, Director of "Le Commerce du Bois", an Association bringing together French importers, traders and specialists in wood and wood products.

 

 

ATIBT: Le Commerce du Bois has been recognised by the European Commission as "Control organisation" for France. What are the implications?

 

Eric Boilley: Above all, this is a recognition for the efforts we have been making for ten years through our Environmental Charter, which sets out a sustainable procurement policy. It is a very good thing for us!

 

It represents the possibility for our members or other external companies to have the elements necessary to comply with the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR), which has been in force since March 2013.

Let us reiterate that the EUTR requires all operators and, in particular, importers, to have methods to analyse the risk of introducing illegal wood into the European market. This illegality may come from countries, suppliers or wood species.

 

Therefore, we offer a method of analysing these risks that allows members to ensure that the products they market arrive from a source that is managed with a minimum degree of sustainability.

 

ATIBT: What are the tools that you are going to make available to your members?

 

Eric Boilley: The principle of due diligence requires a certain number of tools to be made available to our members: from tools for analysing the risk originating in countries, in the form of a database that provides us with information regarding the sanctions taken against countries or against commercial practices in these countries, to supplier analysis tools: here, we rely on a network of external operators who can inform us about the practices of one company or another. We have the support of certain organisations, I am referring in particular to forest managers, coalitions that combine the private sector and civil society, or indeed WWF, who can help us analyse the "supplier risk". Then, we provide our members with grids, which explain which type of document is needed for which country: i.e. reference documents. Finally, we recently recruited Mr Patrick Barraize, who has four years' professional experience with FSC France, to help companies complete this risks analysis work.

To summarise, we provide our members with an information and analysis kit that allows them to do business with foreign countries, without taking any risks with regard to the legality of their products.

 

ATIBT: This is a substantial effort...

 

Eric Boilley: From the start, we approached all the producer countries and asked them to provide us with information. Country by country, they indicated to us which were the essential documents. It is a job that is constantly questioned, since from one year to the next there can be products that enter the market, legislation that changes... Due to this heavy workload to update the information, I am proposing that we have a common organisation system in the form of an information platform, which could be managed by ATIBT, for example, on behalf of all the wood trade Federations, because the work we do in France will then have to be carried out in Germany, Italy, England... it would be logical to have a harmonised approach…

 

For more Information, please check: ATIBT Website

 

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