On 2nd March 2018, FSC Chain of Custody certificate holder, Hardwood Dimensions Holdings Ltd (FSC-C017489) pleaded guilty to an offence under regulation 4(b) of the Timber Products (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2013.
The UK timber company was fined £4,000 for breaching the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), having been found to have failed in their obligation to exercise due diligence. Hardwood Dimensions were not charged with placing illegally logged timber on the market.
The material in question, imported by Hardwood Dimensions, was FSC-certified. Although there is no suggestion that the material was illegal, this case does highlight the need for due diligence above and beyond obtaining evidence of FSC-certification, in order to comply with EUTR.
Certification is not accepted as automatic proof of compliance with EUTR. However, FSC has worked to ensure that all components of FSC certification align with the EUTR. As such, actors practicing due diligence can use FSC certification as a key element of risk assessment and mitigation. To support this, FSC has produced guidance materials on EU Timber Regulation, which are available at https://ic.fsc.org/en/for-business/fsc-and-timber- […].
For more information about this case see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-produc […].