The Department of Agriculture has begun changing the way it ensures that importers of regulated timber products are complying with the Illegal Logging Act 2012 and the Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation 2012.
Until now the process was that customs brokers required importers to complete a form indicating whether they had undertaken due diligence with regard to the sustainability credentials of their imported products.
Beginning with businesses that import large amounts of regulated timber, paper or wooden furniture products DAFF has implemented a system of audits to assess how businesses are complying with their regulatory obligations. They are also assessing businesses that have lunteered for a compliance assessment as a health check of their due diligence practices. Some businesses are being contacted directly with a Request for Information Notice and once complete DAFF will provide them with feedback on where the due diligence practices meet equirements and where improvements are required.
This will not just impact importers as there are also plans to assess some processors of Australian grown raw logs late in 2015.
ILLEGAL LOGGING PENALTIES:
Additional compliance requirements and audits will be in place As of May 2016. Penalties for non-compliance do not currently apply, but you may be liable from May 2016. If your business does not meet your regulatory obligations by this time we expect that your ability to import timber products will be impacted and you may also be subject to financial penalties.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Contact Magellan and we can advise you if a Voluntary Assessment by DAFF is an option for you. We can also give you feedback on how you are currently complying and where improvements can be made.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
- Contact Magellan Logistics on 1300 651 888 or by email
- Visit http://www.agriculture.gov.au/forestry/policies
- Email illegal logging compliance assessment
- Subscribe to the illegal logging mailing list to stay informed of the release of any new information or guidance materials or any upcoming information events
- Phone the department during business hours (8.30am to 5.30pm) on 1800 657 313 or if outside of Australia +61 2 6272 3933.