Since the EU Timber Regulation came into effect in 2013, European countries have been enforcing this regulation in various degrees, issuing large fines to companies who don’t comply. With the upcoming EU Conflict Minerals Regulation, even more companies are required to exercise due diligence.
Timber and conflict minerals
The EUTR, was designed to reduce illegal logging and deforestation by making sure that illegal timber and timber products can't be sold on the EU market. The regulation applies only to companies who import timber from outside the timber market. This means that a company in France can import timber from Poland freely, but must exercise due diligence when importing timber from China for example.
The EU Conflict Minerals Regulation was designed to stem the trade in 3TG minerals: tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. These four minerals have a high risked of being mined with forced labor or fund armed conflicts. That’s why importers who want to import these minerals into the EU market are required to exercise due diligence.
What’s striking here that even though the timber and minerals industry are very different and face different environmental and social issues, the EU regulations regarding these industries are quite similar. Both require importing companies to exercise due diligence as a first gatekeeper at the borders of Europe. Both require companies to do their homework by collecting supply chain information and mitigate risks.
Timber as a blueprint for minerals and other commodities
The advantage of the similarities between these two regulations is both industries can learn from each other. Since the EU Conflict Minerals will take effect in 2021, companies in this industry have plenty of time to do their research in how due diligence systems can work. For that reason, we highly recommend our timber webinar. In this video we not only explain the EUTR, but also give a live demo of our timber due diligence which is used in a day-to-day situation. This video can be very useful for the minerals industry, as well as traders and importers of other commodities who might have to exercise due diligence in the future.