First Sweden then Denmark and now the UK Timber Trade Federation (TTF) have warned importers they could be in contravention of the EUTR if they import teak from Myanmar. The UK TTF has gone further and called for EU wide action. 

According to NepCon, a Danish non-profit organisation, the Danish Competent Authority asked seven local companies to strengthen their due diligence systems if they wish to continue to market Myanmar teak in the EU. NepCon says Danish authorities audited some companies that had imported teak from Myanmar after being alerted to allegations by the Environmental Investigation Agency. The Danish authorities concluded that the system in place in all seven companies was not robust enough to demonstrate a negligible risk of illegality. This, once again, raises questions on whether it is currently possible for importers of timber from Myanmar to satisfy the EU Timber Regulation. 

The problem, says NepCon, is that the authorities in Myanmar are not allowing importers in the EU access to information on the origin of the timber and that they do not have systems in place to adequately assess the risk that illegal timber is entering the supply chain.

In an apparent reaction to the Danish ruling, the Myanmar Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation released a statement in which they acknowledged the challenges in tracing timber back to the forestbecause, at present, their system is primarily designed for the recording statistics.

Now the UK Timber Trade Federation (TTF) call Europe to adopt the actions taken by Sweden and Denmark against importers of Myanmar teak. David Hopkins, Managing Director of TTF says “Since the authorities in Myanmar are, as yet, unable to offer sufficient evidence of legality TTF members should cease to trade in teak sourced from Myanmar.”
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