Identifying Legal Timber from New South Wales
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is responsible for regulating native forestry operations on public and private land. The EPA regulates Crown forestry operations’ compliance with Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs) and private forestry operations’ compliance with the Private Native Forestry Code. The Department of Primary Industries is responsible for regulating plantations on public and private land under the Plantations and Reafforestation (Code) Regulation 2001.
The Commonwealth has introduced new laws that make it a criminal offence to import illegally logged timber and timber products into Australia, or to process domestically grown raw logs that have been illegally logged.
If you import timber and timber products, or process domestically grown raw logs, you will need to meet due diligence requirements that take effect from 30 November 2014.
Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012
The Commonwealth Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 was established to promote the trade and processing of legally harvested timber and timber products in Australia. The Act prohibits the importation of illegally harvested timber and timber products. The Act also prohibits the processing of domestically grown logs that have been illegally logged (i.e. without a permit to log).
The Commonwealth Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012 lists the timber products regulated under the Act. These include rough sawn timber, chipped timber more than 6mm thick and a range of processed wood products. Recycled timber products are exempt.
The Regulation requires importers to collect information about a regulated timber product before importing it, and to keep written records of their due diligence systems. Wood processors must also collect information about a raw log before processing it and keep written records of their due diligence systems. The Regulation imposes penalties for failing to comply with these requirements.
NSW State Specific Guidelines
If you are a timber importer or domestic wood processor operating in NSW, the NSW State Specific Guidelines have been developed to help you meet your due diligence requirements under the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 and the Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012. The Guidelines provide examples of records and forestry approvals that businesses can seek as part of their due diligence, including information for businesses who source their product from interstate.
A Quick Reference Guide is also available.
The Commonwealth is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 and the Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012.
For information on how the Commonwealth will help industry comply with the illegal logging laws visit the Commonwealth website. The website contains additional resources including Guidelines for businesses operating in other Australian States.
The Commonwealth has recently announced an independent review of review of the impact of the illegal logging regulations on small business. For further information visit the review website.
Page last updated: 18 December 2014