The Netherlands issued a fine to the company Fibois VB Purmerend after finding that documentation was not in order for timber imported from Cameroon. Therefore the company could not meet the due diligence requirement required by the illegal logging legislation (EUTR). The Dutch Competent Authority issued a non-compliance penalty of EUR 1800 per cubic meter of timber placed on the market until correct due diligence could be undertaken. The company had been issued a warning, stating that it had had enough time to improve its practice. Among other sources, Fibois imports from CCT, a company which Greenpeace revealed to be involved in illegal logging.
Meanwhile, a Swedish court ruled teak importer is breaking EU logging law. The Swedish administrative court has ruled that a company importing teak from Myanmar is in breach of the EUTR. In a recenn briefing, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) pointed out that Almtra Nordic, the Swedish importer, could not have met the EUTR’s due diligence requirement, because of weak forest governance in Myanmar. They could only trace supplies back to the state-managed Myanmar Timber Enterprise, but not to exactly where the imported timber had been harvested or by whom.
EIA then submitted a complaint to the Swedish Forest Agency (the competent authority), which fined Almtra Nordic 17,000 Swedish Kronor (about $1,700) and required the company to stop selling timber imported from Myanmar until it could properly assess and mitigate the risk of illegality. The Swedish court agreed with this decision and found Almtra Nordic was in breach of the EUTR. In doing so, the Swedish court showed that an EU company importing timber supplied by the Myanmar Timber Enterprise cannot meet the EUTR’s due diligence requirement if it relies solely on official documentation provided.