Dear valued stakeholder
Today the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry advises of the commencement of the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 following passage through the Australian Parliament on 19 November 2012.
The legislation supports Australia’s commitment to promote the trade of legally harvested timber and will be applied consistently regardless of where the timber or timber product originates. In doing so, the Bill aims to reduce the harmful environmental, social and economic impacts of illegal logging and is consistent with Australia’s international trade obligations. It supports Australia’s commitment to promote the trade of legally harvested timber and will be applied consistently regardless of where the timber or timber product originates.
A number of key provisions of the Act are now in effect, most notably the immediate prohibitions for: importing timber and timber products that contain illegally logged timber; and processing domestic raw logs that have been illegally logged.
It is now a criminal offence to import illegally logged timber and timber products into Australia or to process Australian raw logs that have been harvested illegally. Australian importers and processors must not knowingly, intentionally or recklessly import or process illegally logged timber.
If you receive information that the timber you are sourcing is illegally logged, believe the timber is illegally logged or are made aware that there is a substantial risk that the timber was illegally logged, be aware that penalties may apply if the timber or timber product is in fact illegally logged.
If you suspect that the timber or timber product you are processing is from an illegal source, you should ask your supplier to confirm its legality.
If you are still in doubt, or you have further inquiries about how the new laws may apply to you, please call the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on 1800 657 313.
Regulations are due to take effect in November 2014 that will outline steps that importers and processors should take to check the legality of the product they are receiving. Obligations for importers and processors to undertake due diligence do not commence until that time.
DAFF will release discussion draft regulations shortly so that businesses have time to develop due diligence systems to support the product they are importing or processing.
To find out more visit daff.gov.au/illegallogging or get in touch at IllegalLogging@daff.gov.au.
Director, International Forest Policy
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry