The implementation report of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) published last February is a missed opportunity. It does not recommend the inclusion of printed products strongly enough in the regulation’s scope.
Marco Mensink, Cepi Director General: «Not including printed products in the scope is wrong. Products printed and produced in Europe comply with EU law to be proven legal. Products printed outside Europe do not have to comply at all. This is very odd, as the risks of illegal logging are much larger in the regions exempted. The EU promotes printing outside Europe and exports jobs. We fail to understand why».
Beatrice Klose, Intergraf Secretary General: «Illegal logging damages the reputation of printed products and the European Union must ensure that all products on the European market are safe from illegal logging. The only way to do this is to include printed products in the scope of the European Timber Regulation.»
The annex of the Eutr contains a list of timber and timber products under the scope of the regulation, but does not contain products under chapter 49 of the Combined Nomenclature i.e. printed products. This is inconsistent and should have been addressed more clearly in the report. Cepi and Intergraf urge the Commission once again to amend the annex of the Eutr and include products under the chapter 49 of the Combined Nomenclature.
In 2014 the volume of trade in printed products imports into the EU amounted to € 3 billion. This greatly impacts our European industry from a competitive perspective. The non-inclusion of printed products will lead to circumvention: There is a risk that illegally-logged wood is traded to countries with less stringent rules on legality, before being traded to the EU.
Furthermore the paper and printing industries see a need for consistent enforcement among Member States and clearer guidance. However, the Commission’s vague reference to a possible expansion of the product scope is disappointing.